Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beautiful songs and fine playing equals a stellar disc
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 05/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's unusual in jazz for someone to release a cd of their own compositions under their name without playing on it. But that's what we've got here.And a very fine album it is, probably equally due to the quality of the compositions and the skill of the players. Make no mistake, this is one killer band. Kenny Werner, a very supple pianist, is perfect for this kind of setting, which features a wider musical sensibility than the average jazz blowing session. Lyrical without being sentimental, he has an extremely deft touch, although he can be percussive and propulsive when need be. Billy Drewes on tenor and soprano sax and clarinet is a hugely underrated player in my opinion. Just listen to his ravishing clarinet solo on "Warmness." Marc Johnson, is, of course, one of the premier jazz double bassists on the scene today. He has that big warm tone, perfect pitch, and a grand sense of space and rhythm. Joey Baron on drums fits in perfectly. Always a master of taste and subtlety, he's just what's called for here. If there's a ringer, it's Ron Miles. He has a quite distinct concept and approach on trumpet, and one wouldn't necessarily have thought of him in this setting. But he comes through like a champ, perfectly attuned to the delicate musical sensibility that dominates this session. Whether they're playing as an ensemble or taking a solo, these players seem to have a sense of interaction that borders on the magical: there's always an interesting conversation going on.As regards the compositions, some have a (faux?) Latin feel--especially samba ("No More Stress," although it's in 5/4 time, and "Warmness") and tango ("Worry" and "Getting Dark"). Others have a carnival-like feel ("Funny Story" and "Carousel"). Still others, a chamber-jazz sensibility ("Slow Waltz" and "Calm Down"). All are thoughtfully constructed and beautifully balanced, like a fine Belgian beer.Congratulations to whomever had the vision to sign this unusual artist and follow through with the release of this special project."