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Jeff Pittson: Go Where It's Dangerous

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No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

A lot of jazz fans turn right off at the mere mention of electronic effects. So let's get this out of the way: While Jeff Pittson uses a full array of computers, samplers and other electronics to augment his music, this is essentially a piano album. And a pretty good one at that.

Pittson's (acoustic) piano is almost always in the foreground on the 10 selections here — nine originals, plus a tender reading of Nino Rota's "Godfather" theme. He's a marvelously talented pianist with a light touch at the keyboard. His compositions are lush, romantic portraits that owe as much to modern classical music as to Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.

In addition to all the keyboards, Pittson also plays bass and percussion. Wally Schnalle helps out on drums, but the rest is all Pittson. The electronics are used mostly in the background, to create moods and add textures. They're never obtrusive, and while I'm not certain they're vital to his overall sound, they do help set it apart from the norm.

Vineland Records: PO Box 880397, San Francisco, CA 94188-0397 1-800-7VINELAND

Personnel:

Jeff Pittson - piano, claviola, ocarina, percussion, bass, sampler, sound design; Wally Schnalle - drums, percussion, sampler, computer, sound design

Record Label: Vineland

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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