Album Review of
High Standards

Written by Joe Ross
September 30, 2019 - 1:14am EDT
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Jazz guitar Mike Pachelli has found a sound that brings body, mind and spirit into harmony. Using a 1993 Gibson L5 Wes Montgomery guitar, he speaks directly from his heart to that of the listener. He wisely gives his 18th album, “High Standards,” a thematic presentation of well-arranged positive songs like “When You’re Smiling,” “Whistle While You Work,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “What A Wonderful World,” and “Put On A Happy Face.” Before putting this disc on the player, I was skeptical that he could present these with some new sense of personality. We discover that while Pachelli’s got plenty of technical chops on his guitar, it’s the soul and emotion that he brings to this work that give the album such high marks.  Tony Levin (bass) and Danny Gottlieb (drums) help provide this set of music with a living, breathing character full of depth and expression. Guitarist Keb’ Mo’ joins in on Pachelli’s self-penned “Yardbird Blues.” Lesser covered tracks like “These Are Soulful Days,” “Skylark” and “Cute” are tasty.  As the title exclaims, Pachelli’s sets “High Standards” for this recording, and the result is a joyful musical pulse that resonates to all within earshot.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)