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Tom Van Seters quintet: Narrative (2002)

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Pianist and composer Tom Van Seters has enought musical ideas to fill a book, and you can consider this disc one chapter with eight parts. Relying on his original compsitions and his talents at the piano, he works within this quintet setting to explore new musical territory.

For Van Seters, "After Dark" is a bright happy place where people love their jazz and he shows this by letting his group light the way. The general rule here is that any player is welcome to jump in and make a point, whether it be sax, trumpet, or piano—and they are all given time to lay out their ideas. The theme is carried out in different tempos through out the set. One tune later, "My Old Friend" starts out as if two old friends were catching up with each other, and then progresses as they become more at ease. Kevin Turcotte takes a trumpet solo while Van Seters expresses himself on the piano. Mike Murley weighs in on sax, with Fraser Hollins and Dave Laing doing their talking on bass and drums. The collective result is quite satisfying.

"Corner of MIlton" is another place to head to for a splendid jazz chart. Here Van Seters builds from an arrangement that allows him to stretch out on the keys. The interplay is diverse, strechting the boundaries and then gathering it back to a brisk finish. "Pass On The Right" is a fine example of the wonderful group cohesion on this record. It's easy to forget a quintet is working here. The well-crafted songs and tight playing on Narrative fold together into one collective statement, making this disc a stand-out example of jazz at its best.


Track Listing: 1.After Dark,2.My Old Friend,3.Salute to K,4Corner of Milton,5.Open Sky,6.Pass On The Right,7.If Only We Could,8.The Button Hole Maker.

Personnel: Tom Van Seter: piano; Mike Murley: tenor/soprano sax; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet/flugel horn; Fraser Hollins: double bass; Dave Laing: drums.

Record Label: VSM Records

Style: Contemporary/Smooth


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