Greg Cooper
Down to the Wire
Self-released

Greg taught on the West Coast, studied under fine players, and played on a few major-label records in the early '80s. I'm not sure exactly what effect that all had, but this is a fine album.

There are 10 instrumentals, most covers. There's a nice take on Freddie King's "Hideaway" and Eddie Harris' "Stickin'" is a nice bluesy-jazz piece that let's Greg show off his main attribute - Taste.

While it's obvious he's got the chops, he never shows off just to let other players know how good he is. The song's the thing, as it should be.

The influences seem varied. Some of the jazz pieces remind me a bit of Tal Farlow. In fact, one of the originals, "Livin' Large," lets Greg show his jazz chops to the their fullest. It's obvious he's also a blues fan with a couple of the tunes being major league shuffles. There's also a nasty cover of The Meters' "Cissy Strut," where you hear the classic main lick of the tune, Greg also plays a dazzling rock solo that you don't expect, but sounds great. - JH

Vintage Guitar Magazine
October 2003