Frank Butrey is a guitarist originally from Erie, Pennsyvania who has been performing and recording since the 80′s. He is not only a hard working musician, but an instructor who makes sure those he teaches will carry on the traditions he had learned over the years. On Malicious Delicious (Lust For Toys), he could easily take it easy and play guitar jazz by putting it on automatic, but he doesn’t. What you’ll hear in these songs are years of hard work and perseverance, playing with different styles and techniques in each song so that the music in itself could be considered mini-workshops (in fact, I didn’t realize there was a song on this album called “Little Workshops” until I looked down at the CD cover, so I have something there.)
What you’ll hear are hints of Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery, and even John McLaughlin, and all of them in the opening track “Boisterous Voicetrous”, before digging deep into some nice open-funk in “Malicious Delicious Blues”, and I can hear how this would do well in a festival setting.
If you are a longtime Roots fan and have wondered about the whearabouts of original bassist Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, he appears in the boisterous “Dodges, Denials and Delays”, which begins with multi-tracked Butrey (one track with a melody, the other doing the solo) before Hub hits the pocket and keeps it there, allowing Butrey to just go all out in his solo as Hub blisters his shit left and right (as does Butrey in the song’s second half). He sounds at home here too, and while it would’ve been nice to have heard him in every song, I’ll take the single track that’s here.
Malicious Delicious is the perfect yin-yang, where you don’t have to feel guilty about either part of the equation. Butrey is truly the man, and this will be loved by any fan of not just guitar jazz, but guitar playing as a whole.