BEST SOLO MUSICIAN Minneapolis 1998 -
The funny thing is, he doesn't play solo much, preferring the synergistic spark of simpatico accompanists like superlative jazz bassist Anthony Cox, or the unique percussionist Marcus Wise. But when Dean Magraw decides to take over a song, be it on acoustic or electric guitar, everybody else onstage knows enough simply to mark time, fill in some encouraging accents, and otherwise get out of the way. A marvelously precise and chromatic picker (sort of in the tradition of Leo Kottke), Magraw does play two solo numbers on his engaging new CD, Seventh One. Both "Dawn Star" and "Nova Scotia" affirm that Magraw can be masterful by his lonesome--plaintive, impressionistic, and rich in detail.