Andrew Cheshire: Magic
Though he’s only cut a handful of albums thus far in his career Chesire’s been playing since his teens and a punctilious prowess gleaned from long hours of practice informs his technique. A further testament to his musical savvy is his choice of associates. The disc is split essentially down the middle with a different pair of players backing Cheshire on each half. Juxtaposed beside one another it’s interesting to hear how Cheshire interacts with each team. McClure and Hart are far more conventional in terms of their approach to rhythmic accompaniment than Duval and Rosen. As a result the interplay of the first five tunes sounds more formerly scripted even though passages of collective improvisation are interspersed with composed sections. Cheshire appears more relaxed on these initial pieces, secure in the comparative predictability of his partners.
Conversely the mood is more agitated and expansive on the final five tracks where Cheshire sounds audibly challenged by the redoubtable combination of Duval and Rosen. These two players have served as the rhythmic fulcrum on over a dozen CIMP sessions and have sharpened their improvisatory teeth playing with some of the most formidable improvisers in the world. Cheshire acclimatizes himself rather well however and the trio runs through a solid succession of improvisation-laden pieces including several standards. A deceptively simple reworking of Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro-Blue” acts as an effective closer.
The finest jazz musicians are those who balance an abiding love for the music’s history with a firm resolve to find and advance their own voice. Judging from his work thus far Cheshire fits snugly into this framework and stands poised to make an indelible mark on the canvas of improvised music. A strong factor working in his favor is the manner in which his music and approach accentuate the benefits of both free and chordal improvisation and effectively bridge both camps.
Tracks:Magic/ Ballad/ To Love Again/ A.Z. Lives/ Dream/ Song*/ Blues on Mars*/ Invitation*/ Nefertiti*/ Afro Blue*.
Players:Andrew Chesire- electric guitar; Ron McClure- bass; Billy Hart- drums; Dominic Duval- bass*; Jay Rosen- drums.
Recorded: September 18, 1999, Brooklyn, NY and January 27, 1999, Pittston, PA*.
Record Label: Joule Records
Style: Modern Jazz