Wayne Brasel: If You Would Dance (2009)
The music on If You Would Dance speaks more about mood than melody, and a sense of relaxed concentrationas odd as that might soundpermeates these performances. While none of this music is extremely gripping, the pleasant nature of these songs and the musicianship makes for an enjoyable ride. The title track and "Aberdeen," which features a terrific bass solo from Warrington and a sunnier solo from Pasqua, are slow, waltz-like songs. Swing feels, as rare as they are here, help to give the music a bit more zest.
The gentle "The Oaks of Mamre," underscored by sensitive swing, features some enjoyable soloing from Brasel and Pasqua. As each of the soloists move further into their statements, Erskine becomes increasingly interactive. The appropriately titled "Celebration" is the standout track, and proves to be a bit more energy-charged than the other material. Warrington's bass sound has more spring in its step, and Brasel's tone, while still relaxed, seems more focused. Pasqua's solo is a real treat, while Erskine cuts loose with a stellar solo and the group interplay seems a bit more potent.
While Brasel focuses largely on electric guitar, his acoustic work pops up occasionally, providing a comforting sound on "Oleo De Mujer Con Sombrero." Pasqua builds a solo atop his own gentle beds of chords, as Erskine contributes super-sensitive brushwork. With few exceptions, If You Would Dance proves to be a collection of quiet, cloistered gentility.
Track Listing: Lightgiver; The Oaks Of Mamre; If You Would Dance; Celebration; Aberdeen; Oleo De Mujer Con Sombrero; Elias; A Heart On Fire; The Hermit.
Personnel: Wayne Brasel: guitars; Alan Pasqua: piano; Tom Warrington: bass; Peter Erskine: drums; Satnam Ramgotra: percussion.
Record Label: Self Produced