Hailing from Kansas City and currently in New York, Steve Cardenas (pronounced "CAR-din-us") has carved out a niche for his modern guitar stylings in NYC, holding the guitar chairs in Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra (check out his work on their latest, Not in Our Name) and Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band (Garden of Eden is due out January 24th). He's also broken musical bread with veterans like Eddie Harris, Slide Hampton, and Jay McShann as well as performed abroad at the North Sea and Montreux Jazz Festivals. And what's more, he passes on his knowledge to students at the New School University as well as his private students.
He can certainly shred, but he never fails to grab your ear with lyrical lines spanning the whole range of his axe. His sensitive attack and tone hint at Vic Juris or Ben Monder with a touch of Metheny. His acoustic guitar work is captivating (though his work on his most recent album, Panoramic, is on electric). Tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby mirrors Cardenas's flexible style and slithery lines, and bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Kenny Wollensen give the perfect balance of support and interplay.
P.S. He also has some great moments to shine on Kate McGarry's latest, Mercy Streets. Also, check out the Thelonious Monk Fakebook that he co-edited with Don Sickler. It's the first publishing of all of Monk's tunes in one place, including some never previously seen!