Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Jazz that is totally free of pretense
Bent Tine | New York, NY USA | 10/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album, as with all of Larry Karush's projects, is beautiful. The musicianship is of the type only achieved by players who have been through all of the competitive and non-musical woodshedding, the endless gigging, the repetitions of standard, etc. Larry is a gifted musician and a fantastic composer as well. It is truly a shame that he hasn't achieved more wide-reaching renown both as player and composer. I for one can see why such amazing rhythm sections as, in this instance, Glen Moore and Glen Velez and currently Mark Dresser and Dan Morris, have gravitated to him. His compositions are challenging. They are spiralling, meandering, moody things that are textured without the pretense or the artifice that many composers settle into by overcomplicating things. Complexity is not about playing as many notes as possible. It isn't about playing fast or layering as many dissonant or harmonically unsettling horns on top of one another. And I think that Karush has found a setting in which he can allow things to breathe, let the piano's undulations and settling wood to resonate, play off of the bass player and percussionist, comp and allow someone else the space to roam. I have seen him perform several times, both in ensemble and solo piano form, and it has blown me away each time just how at ease he seems with himself and the music. There is no pretense in it. So nice. A jazz musician with a brain and a heart who doesn't feel the need to flail his genitals around to be heard. The music is compelling on its own. Oh, and by the way, Glen Moore is an amazing upright players. The stuff he played with Oregon was quite nice, but mostly flaccid and new agey and left me feeling kind of icky half the time. Here he plays solid and edgy and improvises wonderfully within the compositions. Also, Glen Velez is remarkable. He is someone who adds to whatever he plays on, also in an incredibly effortless non-pretentious way. This is not the World Music of Windham Hill or Narada. It is the best of European Classical music, American jazz idioms and some elements of Indian/South American music (mostly involved in the rhtyhmic sensibilities). Don't be fooled by the song titles or the cover art. Buy this album, or any of them (particularly the Mokave series) for that matter. You won't be disappointed."