I wasn't so inspired looking at the list of tunes - they seemed far too familiar. But wait - that nagging feeling vanished immediately on listening and believing in the interpretations rather than worrying about repertoire. At no time did I feel overwhelmed by sheer virtuosity either although it's clear the quality of the playing on this 2021 Berlin recorded studio album is sky high. There is a lot of simplicity and above all a ringing clarity to what Italian guitarist Eleonora Strino brings here in the company of two far better known musicians than she is internationally. For how long that relatively low profile beyond la bella Italia remains, who knows.
Bassist Greg Cohen - known for his work with Tom Waits, Ornette Coleman, David Sanborn and so many more - and with whom Strino has appeared with paying homage to Cy Coleman on Si Cy is joined in the trio by drummer Joey Baron who was with Bill Frisell in one of the guitarist's most fertile periods in the 1990s and who has also worked together with Cohen in John Zorn's Masada Quintet.
If you also like the vintage sounds of Pasquale Grasso then Strino is your kind of guitarist although Grasso takes it an extra mile or two to say the least. Great to find this - the pared back versions of the Luis Bacalov outrageously sumptuous Oscar winning theme for 1990s film Il Postino and Bruno Martino classic 'Estate' I returned to with a lot of pleasure. Certainly Cohen and Baron are ideal trio partners and Strino has a lot of charisma it's clear from I Got Strings as priceless a quality to add to the calibre of musicianship as any. Stephen Graham
Eleonora Strino, photo: Camjazz