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Stewy von Wattenwyl Generations Band: Live at Marians (2009)

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Stewy von Wattenwyl Generations Band: Live at Marians How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Swiss pianist Stewy von Wattenwyl blasts into this high energy set, Live at Marians, with a blistering one-two punch of Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
1925 - 1968
guitar
's "Fried Pies" and John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
's "Moments Notice." The leader pounds the keys in a McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
b.1938
piano
mode, and saxophonist Eric Alexander
Eric Alexander
Eric Alexander
b.1968
sax, tenor
sounds raw and just barely tamed. This is not a sound that can be called laidback; this is a gale force wind gusting into town.

Von Wattenwyl, a well-versed keyboardist, has a discography that includes a fine trio outing, Dienda (Brambus Records, 2005), a ham-hocks-in-the-collard-greens organ/sax/drums/trumpet affair with Wabash (Bemsha Music, 2005), and a previous outing with Alexander, Live at Bird's Eye (Roving Sirits, 2003). The live setting definitely agrees with the Swiss keyboardist. The music on Live at Marians crackles with spontaneity, and nobody is being careful. These guys came to kick down the doors and play some jazz.

The band slows the pace on the Kahn/Van Heusen standard "All the Way," with von Wattenwyl displaying a tender touch behind Alexander's soulful horn. Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
b.1946
trumpet
's "Terrestris" cranks things back to a mid-tempo on the tightest performance of the night. The pianist opens Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
' "Very Early" with a beautifully inward intro, before the saxophone comes in with a ringing tone.

The power's back on in a down tempo way with Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
' "Sonnymoon for Two." Alexander digs deep, like Rollins, and the entire band seems particularly inspired and interactive on this down and dirty take, as Von Wattenwyl crafts a superb solo that takes flight in front of a rubbery rhythm.

Stanley Turrentine
Stanley Turrentine
Stanley Turrentine
1934 - 2000
sax, tenor
's "Stan's Shuffle" features Wattenwyl and the band at their free-swinging best, wrapping things up with a tune that must have had the audience up out of their chairs and dancing.

Track Listing: Fried Pies; Moments Notice; All The Way; Terrestris; Very Early; Sonnymoon For Two; On the Trail; Stan's Shuffle..

Personnel: Stewy von Wattenwyl: piano; Reggie Johnson: bass; Kevin Chesham: drums; Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone.

Record Label: Bemsha Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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