I think that a lot of today's instrumental music either takes itself so seriously that it intimidates people or it's so sterile and processed that it lacks passion and soul, observes guitarist Askold Buk. That's quite a change from the great R&B instrumentals that I remember - tunes that made you smile and dance and just plain feel good. What I wanted to do with this record was to recapture that vibe, so I started writing instrumental songs that were catchy, fun to play, and hopefully, fun to listen to.
Buk certainly creates that mood on his eponymously-titled debut CD, which has garnered very positive reviews, most notably from famed critic Nat Hentoff, who wrote in the May 2000 Guitar World: Askold Buk plays with the passion born of complete mastery of his instrument so that - as Dizzy Gillespie once said of superior players - he knows what notes not to play. Buk communicates with great presence, but without showboating or otherwise indulging in technical virtuosity for its own sake.
Not surprisingly, the CD was added to over 30 national and international jazz and smooth jazz playlists. In fact, A.F.B. [Track 9 on the CD], which was featured in the 2001 Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary film Startup.com, was also recently included on the Philips/CMJ compilation CD Streamium.
Buk is no stranger to instrumental music - his compositions and guitar work have been heard on ABC Primetime, as well as numerous independent films and TV commercials