Featured Musician
Jazz Calendar
CD Reviews
JSO Hall of Fame
About Us
Contact Us
Upcoming Events
Getting Involved
Jazz Links

CD Reviews - July 2009
by George Fendel, and Kyle O'Brien

Reviews by George Fendel

Sight, Adam Rogers, guitar.
Adam Rogers demonstrates continued guitar mastery in a trio setting with John Patitucci on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. As in past recordings, Rogers’ guitar breathes, allowing for a great deal of space. But when he puts it in overdrive, Rogers delivers. His mixture of originals is balanced by several standards. The first of these, “I Hear a Rhapsody,” is given a brisk, up-to-date reading. Jerome Kern’s “Yesterdays” is interpreted in a stop-and-go manner, certainly new attire for the old evergreen. The Thelonious Monk classic, “Let’s Cool One,” swings with authority, and Rogers chooses “Beautiful Love” as his ballad. Just so you know that Rogers maintains a connection to classic bop lines, there’s a groovy rendition of Charlie Parker’s “Dexterity.” Some of Rogers’ original music is a bit challenging melody-wise, but I found “Hourglass,” at a bristling tempo, to be the standout. Rogers seems to hold all the winning cards in this scintillating trio date.
Criss Cross, 2009, 61:56.

Live At Mr. Kelly’s, Ella Fitzgerald, vocals.
OK, Ella fans, you’d better scoop this one up, because apparently Verve Records didn’t give it much fanfare when it came out in 2007. I recently discovered it, and let me put it this way: if you loved Ella, vintage 1958, you’re going to celebrate this NEVER BEFORE RELEASED two-CD set. It sat in the Verve vault for nearly 50 years, and didn’t deserve such a fate. Ella’s in her absolute prime with a trio of Lou Levy (piano), Max Bennett (bass) and Gus Johnson (drums). She caresses these tunes and shmoozes the audience, often substituting lyrics for the ones she forgot. Among a multitude of highlights are: scatting as only Ella could do on “Perdido,” a tip of the hat to Dinah Washington on “Love Me or Leave Me,” a rich and delicious reading of two ballads from Porgy and Bess; a pull-out-all-the-stops “Exactly Like You,” and even a couple of Sinatra staples, complete with verses, “Witchcraft” and “In the Wee Small Hours of The Morning.” These selections and nearly twenty more comprised the last two sets of a three week appearance at Chicago’s famous Mr. Kelly’s, and Ella doesn’t hold anything back. She was one of a kind, ultra hip, disarmingly delightful with an audience, and, for time immemorial, The First Lady of Song.
Verve Records, 2007, CD #1: 68:25, CD #2: 44:19.

Mutual Admiration Society 2, Joe Locke, vibes, David Hazeltine, piano.
Joe Locke seems to be carving his considerable talent increasingly into our consciousness with quite a few recordings and guest shots in the last few years. And David Hazeltine, with a dozen or so stellar CDs to his credit and frequent sideman appearances as well, is also climbing the ladder of fame. And both deserve the success that has come their way. On this second meeting on the Sharp Nine label, the two players join forces with Essiet Essiet on bass and Billy Drummond on drums, themselves respected veterans. Most of the tunes are originals by one or the other of the leaders. Their creations boast all the basics of quality straight-ahead jazz: keep it swinging; play melody lines of substance; don’t forget that pretty is to be admired; keep it clean and make it sing. For me, the session’s top award goes to a gorgeous version of Jimmy Rowles’ “The Peacocks.” It’s a tune which has earned the status of jazz standard, and these guys find the delicacy and beauty. This quartet effortlessly brings you a buoyant, bright CD well worth a listen.
Sharp Nine, 2009, 54:26.

Plays For Monk, Bobby Broom, guitar.
If you’re like me, you can never get enough Monk, whether it’s the iconic pianist-composer himself, or, as in this case, an affectionate tribute by another player. Bobby Broom’s recent album for Origin Records is a showcase of Monk’s greatest hits, played with style and a bit of Monk-ian wit here and there by the talented Broom and his trio. Bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Kobie Watkins keep it subtle and swinging in support of Broom’s energy bursts. All tunes except “Lulu’s Back in Town” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” are Monk originals. Broom doesn’t attempt to re-invent any of the Monk melodies, and perhaps that indeed is part of the charm of this recording. The two ballads are “Ruby, My Dear” and “Reflections,” two diamonds in the Monk book. Interesting to note the exclusion of “‘Round Midnight.” Could it have reached the saturation point? Anyway, hats off to Bobby Broom and his trio for this delightful trip down Monk Boulevard.
Origin Records, 2009, 56:40.

You’ve Got A Friend, Kevin Hays, piano.
You know me. I don’t have much patience for pop tunes. But I have to be fair and acknowledge legitimately well-written tunes. Often their best interpretations are done by jazz musicians, and that’s the case with the first three (!) selections herein: “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Fool on the Hill.” Hays successfully finds myriads of possibilities and musical roads, thus giving these tunes welcome and refreshing new musical garb. But after these, Hays turns to the tried and true with Monk’s “Think of One”; the standard “Sweet and Lovely”; Bob Dorough’s cheerful “Nothing Like You”; and Charlie Parker’s bop flight, “Cheryl.” It all adds up to an album that explores tunes from varied genres and widely divergent composers. With playing mates Doug Weiss (bass) and Bill Stewart (drums), Hays has come out with a menu of tunes which are refreshing, artful, and, not to be overlooked, swinging.
Jazz Eyes, 2009, 45:56.

Skylines, Kevin Deitz, bass.
If you’re seeking proof that Portland’s resident jazz musicians more than hold their own with anyone, anywhere, check out Kevin Deitz’s array of original compositions featuring a plethora of Portlanders. Deitz writes melody lines that are contagiously swinging or elegantly flowing. And some marvelous Portland-based players are given generous opportunities to strut their stuff. A few examples: Paul Mazzio’s exquisite flugelhorn solo on “New Beginnings”; Tim Jensen’s flight on flute and John Stowell’s rarefied guitar work on “Arch Cape”; Tony Pacini’s sparkling piano solo on “I Forgot About You” or his more nostalgic side on “Romantic Novel”; the teaming of Mazzio’s trumpet and Renato Caranto’ tenor on “Sunny Side Up”; Mike Horsfall’s high energy vibes solo on “San Juan”; and George Mitchell’s tasty piano solos throughout. Kevin Deitz displays impressive skills as a composer, be it up-tempo romps, ballads or even Latin-tinged vehicles. He has long been admired (just ask the musicians) in Portland as a talented and versatile bassist. Now we get to hear what he’s been up to as a composer as well. He was wise indeed to enlist the assistance of some of our best jazz musicians.
Origin, 2009, 49:54.

More Dedications, Chip White, drums, poetry.
Drummer Chip White has played with more jazz luminaries than you can shake a stick at, and he’s hired some heavyweights for this session as well: Mulgrew Miller, Steve Nelson, Wycliffe Gordon and Duane Eubanks, among others. White’s compositions are solid, swinging and well-conceived. The idea he explores here is to write for his various soloists as he honors their predecessors with titles like “Bag of Blues,” “A Rhythm Round for Clifford Brown” “Booker Little’s Chops,” “A Touch of Hutch” and “The Continuing Saga of Miles.” There’s a great deal of joy and a real celebratory atmosphere to these tunes, and the solos are passionate and on target. The big surprise comes when you slip CD #2 into your player and pick up on some hip jazz poetry dedicated to these same musicians. This well-thought out set is a delightful listening experience, and one only hopes that Chip White will give us more of this concept in the future. www.chipwhitejazz.com .
Self-produced, 2009, CD#1: 63:27, CD#2: 13:42.

Off The Cuff, Rick Germanson, piano.
Chalk up another head-shaking new name in pianist Rick Germanson. The Milwaukee native settled in New York in 1998, and since then has worked with giants young and older like Joe Magnarelli, Eric Alexander, Eddie Henderson, Tom Harrell and Charles McPherson. When you’re traveling in those circles, you’d better have your jazz mapquest conveniently at your side. And Germanson comes through with authority with colleagues Gerald Cannon (bass) and Louis Hayes (drums). His CD opens with three originals that display both his powerful and delicate sides. Then comes the surprise: it’s Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring.” But the hook here is that its usual springy quick tempo is abandoned in favor of playing it as a ballad. And a new, beautifully attired tune is the result. Other standards included a ripping version of “This Time the Dream’s on Me”; a refreshing take on the pop opus “Wives and Lovers”; and a dreamy “Autumn in New York.” These and several additional scintillating originals complete a debut from a pianist who’s only going to conquer more mountains on that jazz mapquest.
Owl Studios, 2009, 51:50.

Skykomish, Craig Buhler, clarinet, saxophones.
I think the idea here was to re-cast some pop hits into higher-class jazz settings, and Buhler and lots of friends do a pretty darn good job of it. The only problem was that I’ve been turned off by pop music for so long, most of the titles were totally unfamiliar to me. Perhaps names such as “What a Fool Believes,” “When You Believe,” “Creepin’,” “Waiting for a Girl,” “Flash Dance” and “Save the Best for Last” are blasts from the past that you remember fondly. I didn’t known ‘em at the time of their original performances, but I’m sure they’re all better dressed up here than ever before. A few did ring a familiar bell, all of them well-performed (for what they are). I’m not convinced that songs like this have earned the good care and creativity that Buhler gives them. I’d sure like to see what he can do with contemporary composers with names like Legrand, Frishberg, Mandel and the Bergmans. craigbuhler.com.
Discernment Music, 2008, 54:33.

The A, B, Cs Of Jazz, John Allred, trombone, Jeff Barnhart, piano, Danny Coots, drums.
For quite a few years now, Arbors Records has established itself as home for dependable swing jazz. This quartet (don’t forget Dave Stone on bass) continues in that tradition, and you’ll know it from the first notes of “Pick Yourself Up.” Musicians in this style always sound to me like they’re having more fun than anyone else at the party. And why not when one considers such ripe old chestnuts as “All Through The Night,” “Just One of Those Things,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “Some of These Days” and “Jitterbug Waltz.” Allred, who can play in any setting, really brings it on these tunes, and Barnhart, a new name to me, sounds like the ideal swing/stride style pianist. The surprise of the set is Charlie Haden’s beautiful ballad, “First Song.” Some of you may remember a stunning version by Stan Getz or a delicate vocal interpretation by Haden’s wife, Ruth Cameron. I can only say that I hope Haden has a chance to hear this exquisite take. All in all, the Arbors recipe is intact here: joyous, gimmick-free music making. What more can one ask?
Arbors, 2009, 67:07.

Come Right In, N. Glenn Davis, drums.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Glenn Davis has forged a long career both teaching and playing in Boston and in his hometown where he now holds forth. On this, his second Jazzed Media release, he once again brings in guest alto maven Phil Woods, but this time on only three tunes. But Woods makes the most of each opportunity on a vigorous opener, “A Different Day,” “Just a Tadd” (Davis’s bop-drenched tribute to Tadd Dameron), and the all time bebop ballad, “If You Could See Me Now.” The other horn players are new names to me, but Dave Sterner (alto and soprano) and Jack Schantz (trumpet and flugelhorn) add a well-honed, seasoned sound to Davis’s program. His rhythm mates Mark Soskin (piano) and Dean Johnson (bass), also account for themselves admirably. Most of the tunes are Davis originals performed, as we sometimes like to say, right down the center of the jazz highway. A couple of particularly impressive tunes were “Walkin’ The Blues,” a happy, heady melody; and “Time Remembered,” the Bill Evans tune which serves here as a standout piano vehicle for Soskin. All told, we can thank Glenn Davis for assembling a crew of spirited, gifted musicians and Jazzed Media for continuing to find a place for excellent musicians to be heard.
Jazzed Media, 2009, 61:30.

The Music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, Grant Stewart, tenor sax.
With the year only half over, I can say with assurance that this CD would make my top ten 2009 list of jazz releases. Grant Stewart is a breath of fresh air, playing so brilliantly in the great straight ahead tradition. I dare say he’d be quite capable of trying to impress you with edgy, outside stuff, but instead Stewart honors the paths honed by such heroes as Duke and Strays. Of course, if you’re going to be a ten, it’s best to surround yourself with equally gifted players. Stewart’s pals all meet the test. Tardo Hammer may well be the hottest bebop pianist since Bud Powell and Barry Harris. And Paul Gill on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums round a quartet in place to interpret these great tunes with everything they’ve got! And what great tunes! “Raincheck,” “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” and a few lesser known gems in “Angelica,” “The Feeling of Jazz” and “Tonight I Shall Sleep.” Stewart is one of the brightest lights in the present generation of serious jazz musicians. This CD represents both another step in an impressive discography and a victory for the good guys.
Sharp Nine, 2009, 59:23.


World On A String, Paul Meyers, guitar.
Paul Meyers seems to take his acoustic guitar in two directions, contemporary and bossa nova. Down the contemp corridor, I rather liked his quirky melody line on an original that he titles “Panama.” There were some exceptional harmonics on another Meyers tune called “River,” and Meyers and guest saxman Donny McCaslin get into a boppy mode on “North Meets South.” On the bossa side, I liked the flowing melody line of “Eyes that Smile.” A bit of this and a bit of that seems to be the order of the day, and Meyers’ ideas are often quite refreshing.
Miles High Records, 2009, 63:42.

Form, Danny Grissett, piano.
Danny Grisett abandons the trio format he used on two earlier Criss Cross releases in favor of a sextet for this one. His front line of Steve Davis (trombone), Seamus Blake (tenor sax) and newcomer Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) is impressive on an array of Grissett originals, Monk’s “Ugly Beauty,” Herbie Hancock’s “King Cobra” and one tune from the heyday of songwriting, Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” Grissett continues to establish himself as an often riveting and original pianist.
Criss Cross, 2009, 60.

Spring Forward, Bill Banfield, guitar.
If you like the in-your-face, funky guitar sound found all over the dial on smooth jazz radio stations, this may be your cup of tea. To my ear, it’s tough to decipher a melody line. Banfield has listened to a lot of George Benson from the period after Benson went to the other side. Even a straight ahead take on Wes Montgomery’s “The Thumb” or a funk-laden version of Coltrane’s “Equinox” can’t do much to rescue this CD. I’ll bet Banfield could keep it down the center of bebop boulevard if he so desired. But on this outing, it appears he may going for the bucks.
Innova Records, 2009, 62:53.

Extensions, Phoenix Jazz Group.
No, they’re not from Arizona. They’re a Canadian quartet of musicians with impressive credentials. PJG is comprised of John McLellan, piano, Charlie Bell, sax, Art Lang, bass, and Nick Macerello, drums. Their program of all original music swings with ease. Try a tune like “Time to Decide,” on which the band brings in guest trumpeter Mike Malone. Among other highlights were “Bonavista,” a lightly Latin piece featuring guest flutist Ken Hadley, and “A Promise Kept,” a heartfelt piano tribute to Bill Evans. phoenixjazzgroup.com.
Self-produced, 2008, 56:52.

National Pastime, Dave Glenn, trombone.
One month of watching 18 baseball games in six cities created the inspiration for Dave Glenn to write eight pieces for this sextet. The title tune depicts the feeling of anticipation on entering a stadium: the smell of beer and hot dogs, etc. Other tunes pay tribute to baseball heroes like Roberto Clemente or Hank Aaron, while still others express, as ABC used to say, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Dave Scott’s trumpet and Rich Perry’s tenor, along with Glenn’s rich trombone licks, are major contributors on this fine performance.
Origin, 2009,58:45.

Coming True, Mon David, vocals.
A new male jazz singer from The Philippines? Who would have guessed it? But that’s what we have in Mon David (pronounced MOAN-daVEED). He gets us off to the races with a sizzling scat vocal on Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” but also delivers a ballad like “Some Other Time” with great feeling. Other standouts include “There Is No Greater Love,” “No More Blues” and even the old Glenn Miller opus, “Moonlight Serenade.” Shades of Mark Murphy in that Mon David phrases, scats and simply sounds like a real deal jazz singer. I was impressed!
FreeHam Records, 2009, 49:04.

Reviews by Kyle O'Brien

Karla’s Sermon, Robert Moore & the Wildcats.

This disc, recorded live in Alabama, features trumpeter/vocalist Moore in a septet setting, getting funky with a mix of standards and originals. It starts with a soul jazz blueser, the title track, which sets up a highly listenable, grooving disc. With a funky version of “Lover Man,” Moore proves he has vocal chops, singing with a gravelly, Dr. John-like growl. He can over-emote a bit, but his voice is engaging and fun. Songwriting duties are mostly Moore’s, but one by his guitarist, Mark Kimball, “Lug Nuts,” is a fun, medium bopper. Moore’s tunes are melodic and let his musicians lay back on the beat, giving a relaxed feel throughout, especially on tracks like the slow blues “I’ll Be Moving Along,” and the whimsical “Marche L’Idiots.” Moore’s band is loose and playful but all listen well to each other, and saxophonist Gary Wheat stands out as a soloist. The sense of fun keeps this disc a solid one.
2009, RomoMusic, 61:07.

Sleeping Lady, New West.
This guitar trio isn’t exactly jazz, but their blend of instrumental folk and contemporary styles is quite pleasing. The three guitarists -- Brady Cohan, Perry Smith, and John Storie -- are all fine players and work together to create a cohesive trio. The stated purpose of this disc is to capture the natural sound of master luthier Jeff Traugott’s handmade guitars, and the trio has done a terrific job. The often plaintive tunes, like the light waltz “Birthday Girl,” are lovely, evoking a sense of place. The guitars are sonorous and the recording quality is natural and crisp. Guest vocalist Gretchen Parlato adds nice, whispery vocals on two tracks. Try listening to this one on a drive along the coast.
2009, New West, 46:17.

Vast, East West Quintet.
The opening track on this disc builds more like a bombastic rock tune than a jazz tune, which is kind of the point of this genre-bending band from Brooklyn. Groups like this and the Bad Plus are changing the way we hear and play jazz. Adding elements of rock, funk and even punk has made our American music all the more distinct. From that over-the-top track, “The Triumph,” East West travels through a multitude of styles, from contemporary jazz (“Over the Falls”) to hard-bop-meets-rock (“Vast Pt. 1 & 2”) to slow waltz (“Daffodill 11”) and areas in between. It’s adventurous music played by a highly able quintet. They seem to be happy exploring the spaces between the genres, blending, molding and meshing to make a new sound that still manages to be all jazz. Who cares if it goes over the top on occasion.
2009, Native Language Music, 58:30.

Confeddie, Hailey Niswanger, alto saxophone.
Young saxophonist Niswanger shows chops from the top of the disc, doing a precision lick on Monk’s “Four in One.” From there she goes on to an impressive, if slightly meandering solo. She is obviously a talent and her style is suited to the hard and post bop tunes she plays, including Herbie Hancock’s “Oliloqui Valley” and Joe Henderson’s “Serenity.” She shows off a smooth, open tone on Kenny Dorham’s “La Mesha,” and even shows a knack for fine bop writing on the title track, an angular bopper she says is in the style of saxophonist Eddie Harris. Niswanger is backed by a tight group that includes drummer Mark Whitfield Jr., pianist Michael Palma and bassist Greg Chapin. She is a talented player and shows signs of being a solid composer, but she could use some focus on her soloing rather than just shooting hot licks into the air.
2009, Hailey Niswanger, 50:44.

Labyrinth, Jacam Manricks.
The title of this disc is apt. There is a sometimes dizzying feeling to Manricks’s compositions, full of spaces, close harmonies and cascading notations. It’s not confusing, but does have a feel of wandering, searching for ways through to the center. There are spots of clarity but the compositions jump back and forth between tonal and atonal, making for long, melodic lines interspersed with rat-a-tat spurts. It’s especially true on the title track, where Manricks peppers us with staccato riffs and precision runs on his alto saxophone. The album is very deliberate, walking us along the path while leaving plenty of room for discovery. It’s not an easy album, but the tones by the band, which includes a chamber orchestra on a couple tracks, makes for a colorful, textural disc. This is compositional, themed jazz done quite well.
2009, Manricks Music, 57:54.

Narrow Margin, Andrew Green.
Ever since Duke Ellington did the soundtrack for “Anatomy of a Murder,” jazz artists and composers have been trying to create the perfect film noir soundtrack. This is one of those recordings. But rather than trying to go the big band route, guitarist/composer Green has gathered a tight group of six to take us on a ride through the dark streets of a city. Using a 1952 film as his inspiration, he titles tracks “Midnight Novelette,” “.45 Auto” and “Black Roses” to get us in the mood. While there is a cohesive musical narrative throughout, it’s a concept that takes itself a bit too literally. But thematically it works, with retro-noir, dark chords and a generous use of space. Green is a superb guitarist and his group helps create the feel of the disc, especially saxophonist Bill McHenry, who uses a gritty tone. Green updates the noir concept enough to be relevant but is definitely influenced by the noir soundtracks that came before him.
2008, Microphonic Records, 50:47.

Strange Neighbor, Hashem Assadullahi Quintet.
Saxophonist Assadullahi recently returned from a stint on faculty at a university in Thailand. While his time overseas doesn’t have a direct influence on the music, it’s possible that the Eugene-based composer might include some eastern influences on his next outing. The disc here is a bold, sometimes brash modern jazz recording. It starts with a mash of horns and rhythms, which dissipates into a pensive, long-toned ponder, “Hypothesis B - The Widower,” which utilizes lengthy tones and percussive accents by drummer Jason Palmer, between deliberate, melancholy horn lines. Those lines are courtesy of Assadullahi and trumpeter Ron Miles, a fantastic player who here plays a G trumpet. Things pick up from there with the third of five “Hypothesis” tracks. The music borders on the avant garde, kept together by a solid, guitar-based rhythm section that includes guitarist Justin Morell and bassist Josh Tower. The album lives up to its title, since most neighbors might consider the music a tad strange. But it is well-played, compositional improvisation. There are moments of quiet and beauty here, as on “Hypothesis D - The Gossip,” and even a little retro-bop, on the oddly intriguing, “Near...Far...” Assadullahi gives the rest of the band plenty of time to shine, and it’s a musically collaborative effort. But the disc will be a bit too obscure for straight ahead jazz fans.
2009, 8bells, 54:18.

Beyond Liquid Glass, The Conduit Trio.
This recording is more in the mold of a Mike Stern disc, where he utilized distorted guitars and rock themes to forward his jazz interpretation. Indeed, the disc starts with an instrumental rock tune, “Smelling Salts,” which made me wonder why I was reviewing it for a jazz publication. But digging deeper, I found this an intriguing blend of modern rock and contemporary jazz, played ably by composer/guitarist Robert Branch, bassist David Furnas and drummer Joshua English. The New Mexico-based trio is tight and plays the style with energy. Branch is an impressive electric guitarist and he utilizes effects and loops to bring depth to the sound without losing the human aspect of it all. This is fusion done right, though it’s not exactly new sounding. This same sort of fusion has been done by Stern, Steve Morse and Steve Vai. But Branch and company are keeping a viable genre alive with their original music.
2008, Robert Branch/DSB Music, 1:17:10.

Excerpts from an Online Dating Service, Nicholas Urie Large Ensemble.
Composer Urie used actual excerpts from online dating sites as inspiration for this disc, which I find inspiring: Something modern and new in jazz dealing with the digital realm in a fun and somewhat crazed way. The large ensemble handles frenetic pacing, two-step rhythms and wild vocals sung cabaret style by Christine Correa. It’s social experimentation as music, and Urie does a great job of showing the vulnerability of online daters with text actually taken directly from the sites. With lyrics like “Are you stressed, achy, sore? Maybe more? Abusive ex? I’m just here for sex,” we see closely into the lives of lonely people behind their keyboards. But Urie uses levity and musical interludes to break up the chapters of the album. It’s fun, it’s inventive and an impressive debut for the composer. There’s even a bit of sympathy for those involved, though it’s much more about the banality of the process. Plus, the band is impressive in its muscle.
2009, Red Piano Records, 52:36.

Under the Water, Satoko Fujii and Myra Melford.
The improvisational nature of this music makes it interesting but not always the most listenable. A water theme brings cohesion to the compositions, and the inventiveness of pianists Fujii and Melford are impressive. Still, this will not be everyone’s cup of tea. The disc starts with a duo improvisation, “Yadokari (hermit crab),” which is essentially the two doing sound effects with the piano that sound like water and a crab. Fun, certainly, and the use of space defines the water theme. The conservatory-like atmosphere here doesn’t allow for enough fun, though, and the lack of melodies makes this disc stretch farther than its 54 minutes. Fujii and Melford are both accomplished players, but their compositions are more like soundscapes than tunes, which is probably more intriguing live than on recording.
2009, Libra, 54:22.

Copyright 2009, Jazz Society of Oregon