Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Before its time?
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 03/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That can be the only explanation for this marvelous disc languishing in obscurity. It's hard to believe that this music, featuring hot Left Coast artists such as trumpeter Ralph Alessi (Look, This Against That, etc.), alto sax player Peter Epstein (The Invisible, Nascer, etc.), bassist Derek Oles (Like a Dream, etc.), and the Cline bros. (Alex, drums, and Nils, guitar--crack elay session guys and leaders in their own right, e.g., New Monastery, Sparks Fly Upward, etc.), came out a decade ago: it's as up-to-date and edgy as anything out there, plus it's got that great Metheny/Haden/Frisell heartland vibe going full bore (check out "Tipperary Hill," ostensibly a Celtic number, and follow-up track "Quinn Martin" to see what I mean).
The pianist/leader reminds me of Alan Pasqua at his best--that same glorious melodicism, huge chops lightly worn, and a deeply Romantic bent. Anchored by entirely accessible, often anthemic, tunes, it mixes in exotica like the angular Calypso-ish blues, "Quinn Martin," the gorgeously wistful ballad, "Lexicon," the absolutely delightful faux-sorrowful/funky "Photo Op," the heartbreakingly poignant waltz, "Last Call at the West Lake Inn," featuring the impossibly heartrending clarinet of Bob Sheppard and weepy guitar courtesy of Nils Cline, the crazy island vibe of "Faux Pas," rivaling Sonny's justly famous "St. Thomas" for sheer infectiousness, the stately "Yoknapatawpha Blues," brilliantly evoking Faulkner's non-existent but quintessential Southern county, the quirky-modern "Breaking the Beckets," and the poignant-beyond-the-call-of-duty "All the Things They Were," a majestic Epstein/Carney duo, to produce a disc of uncommon pathos and diverse glory.
If you don't believe me about the heartland-vibe-before-its-time, just check out the mega-evocative back-sleeve photo of a barn against the endless sky of the Midwestern prairie. Music of huge evocativeness, brilliantly conceived and played."