Keith Ganz and Sean Smith: A Wish For A Wish To Come True
This recording, with its soft acoustic guitar and bass, reminds me, in mood and tempo, of the recording that Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny made a few years back. The disc opens with guitarist Keith Ganz’s title track, a soft, pretty ballad with a memorable melody and pretty changes. Bill Evans’ "Time Remembered" is similar in tempo and mood, as is Ganz’s "Or, As The French Say...", as is the Dietz/Schwartz standard, "Alone Together", which is played, interestingly enough, without any stating of the melody until the out chorus. Jim Hall is an obvious influence and the version here of his "Waltz New" is competent if unspectacular. The problem - and it’s a big problem, is taking someone’s music, playing it like he did, emulating his sound, and playing a solo in his style. What’s the point? Anybody can copy perfectly something that has already been done. That’s not the idea of jazz, it never has been and it never will be. Since I don’t know anything about these two players, I would be simply venturing a guess to say they are young musicians and it seems their hearts are in the right place. They both have good taste (Evans, Hall, Konitz) and they have a strong musical concept - they play with dynamics, they play melodically and they listen. While I think these two have potential I don’t recommend this disc for the reasons stated above - the "sameness" that permeates the date, and the copycat thing. Both players also lack the improvisational and compositional prowess at this point in their development to sustain interest over a long ballad date. I’ve got a feeling we’ll hear bigger and better things from these two in future.
Track Listing: A Wish For A Wish To Come True, Time Remembered, Or, As The French Say..., Alone Together, A Friendly Voice, Lilacs, Waltz New, Gratitude In The Minor, Quirk, Subconscious Lee, Thanks
Personnel: Keith Ganz, guitar, Sean Smith, Bass