The Artistry of… Gene Bertoncini

From two very resounding quotes from The New Yorker, you’d think there’d been a love affair: “Bertoncini has been upholding the standard for elegant jazz guitar since the early ’60s. Playing both classical and electric instruments, this musician’s musician keeps melody and chiselled harmony in full view, his sumptuous technique beholden to halcyon-era music-making … It seems that only beautiful sounds emanate from Gene Bertoncini’s guitar.”

I think that just as one can find jewels to praise in every thought of a lover, it is understandable that Bertoncini, the artist, could be so preciously described. Music sings from his guitar.

The genes come directly from his father, who was also a guitar player who also played the harmonica. Bertoncini sat in chairs in the orchestras and bands of three iconic American television talk shows: Merv Griffin, Jack Paar, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Gene Bertoncini… only beautiful sounds emanate indeed.

The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.