How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
I first heard Winton Reynolds play in Austin, TX at an upscale jazz pub. Austin is known for its live performances, so it takes a lot for a newcomer to garner any notoriety. From the moment I walked in the door, Winton Reynolds commanded my attention. He was playing some jazz standards with some session players. Although I had heard all of the tunes before, Winton’s rendering was as fresh and vibrant as the first time those songs were played in the Cotton Club or the Palace. Winton manages to maintain great technical skill at the piano without compromising the spirit and soul of the music. His music has no sharp edges—it is a wave of passion and warmth and sophistication that draws from the listener an awareness of life and a sense of belonging to something larger than himself.
Yet Winton does not merely update the past; he defines the future. He is a fine composer that builds on the jazz tradition by exploring samba-reggae rhythms and fusion in his original works. His debut album, Circles in Time, provides us with the assurance that jazz music is alive and well in the new millennium. You can sense the allure of Latin America while listening to “Biscoito Total” and fall pray to its enchanting Brazilian beat, or delight in the funky syncopation of “Tight Metal Underwear” and marvel at the masterful blend of rhythm and melody that Winton maintains during this tour de force. The balance of the album provides an amazing texture that speaks to the quality of Winton’s vision and spirit. Circles in Time is a great start for an emerging jazz composer. For more information, see http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/145/winton_reynolds.html.
Track Listing: Les Abeilles, Settling In, Tarahumara, She, Headphones, Fountains of Youth, Biscoito Totao, Tight Metal Underwear, Kra Kra Kita
Personnel: Winton Reynolds, piano; Cathy Morris, violin; Peter Kienle, guitars; Steve Dokken, bass; Tony Medeiros, drums; Scott Robinson, African and middle-eastern percussion