The neo-swing movement of the ’80s has come and gone, but one of its key players, guitarist Howard Alden, continues to promote the timeless attributes of pre-modern jazz while exploring some of the unsung artists who left their mark on it. His discography includes four four albums of guitar duets with seven-string innovator George Van Eps, collaborations with such luminaries as Ruby Braff, Kenny Davern and Bucky Pizzarelli, and Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown soundtrack, for which he recorded the parts of Sean Penn’s Django Reinhardt-obsessed guitarist.
In recent years, Alden has developed a strong working relationship with guitarist Andy Brown, who has been a fixture on the local scene since moving here in 2003. Both musicians thrive on a natural, ungussied approach that places an emphasis on clean melodic lines and unfettered swing. Their exchanges have the feeling of lively conversations, many of them filled with insight about the history of jazz. They’ll be supported by a pair of respected veterans, bassist Joe Policastro and drummer Bob Rummage.