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Dave Costa: Reviews

IMPASSIONED Dave Costa The name of this CD is a bit ironic, for guitarist Dave Costa has a quiet sound and a somewhat laid-back and relaxed style, even on the more uptempo material. A fine boppish guitarist in the tradition of Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis, Costa (who is based in New England) interacts closely with bassist Frank Passantino and drummer Curt Moore on eight standards, an obscurity, and three of his originals. The music is lightly swinging, with most of the passion and fire being just beneath the surface. The subtle playing is well worth hearing.

...Dave Costa's recordings are outstanding!

David May - WHFC-FM 91.1 Bel Air, MD (Oct 12, 2009)


From the first notes of “Love For Sale” it is clear that in guitarist Dave costa we’re dealing with a technically proficient, seasoned, swing perfectionist.

This sort of guitar playing, which might well be defined as “modern classic swing / or just ‘jazz’ “ digs deep into the roots of all contemporary guitar.

Costa’s articulation is impeccable -- another indication that he’s developed such a close relationship with the instrument and the music that he treats each piece (song) as a personal friend.

Slow tempos are the trickiest for acoustic guitars and pianos since neither instrument can sustain a note for long at full volume.  Most guitarists merely fill in the slow-tempo gaps with flurries of runs; Costa lets his notes resonate, then fills with light, delicious chords.

“Body and Soul” is a melodious marvel, loaded with rich harmonies underneath and bright with improvisation on Johnny Green’s famous melody.  there are a dozen definitive tenor sax solos of “Body and Soul” beginning with Coleman Hawkins’ in 1939; and there a few splendid guitar solo recordings of the tune, too.  Costa’s should take its place among them.

“Autumn In New York”, perhaps slower even than “Body and Soul” (and a favorite of guitarist Tal Farlow in the 1950s) gets a remarkably sensitive and delicate treatment from Costa.  He is a guitar playing romantic.

This CD is good listening all the way.

Philip Elwood - San Francisco Examiner (May 15, 1997)

When The Love Bug Bites, Dave Costa, guitar, vocals.      
Anybody remember a guitarist named Johnny Smith? He was a standout guitarist and a melody lover and musician who never failed to find very pretty chords. Well, Costa reminded me of Smith on a trio recording which includes evergreens such as “What Is There to Say,” “Perdido,” “Serenade in Blue,” “Autumn Leaves,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” and many more. Costa also sings pleasantly enough on a few cuts. But, as it should be, the guitar’s the star here, and Costa plays it with aplomb. 

George Fendel - Jazz Society of Oregon (Jul 1, 2010)