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Dana Landry: Journey Home (2005)

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Dana Landry: Journey Home How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The title track of Journey Home features Dana Landry's cascading piano in a soothing ballad that meanders relentlessly in an inspired sojourn. With soprano saxophone and vibraphone, he gently massages the melody on its trek over long distances and through marathon trials. With his original "Deerhead Sketches," the pianist paints impressions of his native Eastern Pennsylvania landscape.

Jazz surrounded Landry at an early age, growing up in Pennsylvania's Delaware Water Gap. Home to Phil Woods, Bob Dorough, Urbie Green, and Johnny Coates, the region seems to draw out creative folks everywhere. As Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Colorado in Greeley and the winner of a 1994 Down Beat award as outstanding soloist, Landry has chosen the right path. His "journey home" simply reinforces the music that he's loved for most of his life.

Cole Porter's "All of You" features Landry's piano with vibes and tenor. Fluid in its approach, the quintet takes this one for a long ride that allows them plenty of room for improvised action. The ensemble proves spontaneous, with seamless transitions. Landry's piano carries a light rhythmic swing that he punctuates with exciting intervallic leaps. Jumping into the upper keyboard register frequently, he stirs the pot with lightning strikes that sizzle with intensity.

The leader's "Gatien Dance" finds piano, tenor, and vibraphone driving impatiently in a hot bebop affair. Walking bass and ride cymbal lend an appropriate foundation to the setting. Straight-ahead and filled with brisk emotion, the up-tempo romp emits a lively glow.

A calypso piece with piano trio, a soulful ballad featuring Gary Burton's vibraphone voice, and a gentle piano trio ballad round out the program, completing different aspects of Landry's mainstream jazz ideas. His perspective follows the course of our creative art with dedication.

Track Listing: Gatien Dance; Journey Home; Island Life; Deerhead Sketches; 1, 2, 3; Soulful Bill; All of You; Touch of Your Lips; Hard Times Come Again No More.

Personnel: Dana Landry: piano; Gary Burton: vibraphone; Don Aliquo: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Erik Applegate: bass; Chris Brown: drums.

Record Label: Summit Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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