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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: The Four Ages of Bob

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The Four Ages of Bob , the tenth release by guitarist Andrew Cheshire, continues on the path of his previous recordings with inventive, stylized, and captivating music. The cover art and liner notes (also produced by Cheshire) elaborate on a fictional character named Bob whose life has been filled with change. From concept to composition, the recording effectively parallels Bob's life with music that varies in mood, tempo, and execution. Cheshire's quintet of solid musicians (also including piano, saxophone, and rhythm section) nicely works out eight compositions around the theme, producing some memorable moments. The musicians are supportive and clearly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: The Four Ages Of Bob

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Andrew Cheshire's last album, Pavane Pour Une Infante Difunte , was one of the finest guitar trio CDs of the past twelve months. With The Four Ages Of Bob , Cheshire has expanded the trio into a quintet and recorded another outstanding record. This time the Philadelphia-based guitarist chronicles the progress of Bob, a sort of archetypal American optimistic free spirit, from the 1960s through an anger-drenched 1980s, and up to his incarnation as a 1990s computer geek who ultimately disappears into a parallel universe called Lum. If the subtext sounds overly allegorical or even a bit strange, don't worry. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Pavane Pour Une Infante Difunte

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Guitarist Andrew Cheshire isn't well-known, even within the jazz community, but he ought to be. On Pavane Pour Une Infante Difunte, his eighth CD on his Joule label, he reveals himself to be a thoughtful, always interesting, and at times inspired improviser.

This CD is the product of Cheshire's working trio, a tight, fluid group that can swing hard or rock out as the music requires. Cheshire likes to segue from rock or funk beats to swing tempos. He also likes to go from waltzing to 4/4 swing, as he does on “Footprints," and he likes to turn the beat ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Morning Song

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Andrew Cheshire is an excellent Philadelphia (area)-based jazz guitarist who has been releasing music on his Joule Records label since 1996. Of note is the superb Water Street Revival, accumulated over several recording sessions, and an introspective solo guitar project, Guitar Noir. Mr. Cheshire arrives today with a guitar-organ offering that is as much original as it is steeped in the genre’s traditions. Joined by organist Dan Kostelnik and drummer Jay Rosen, the guitarist performs songs that insinuate melody and whisper harmony, familiar and unfamiliar.

Aside form his own compositions, Mr. Cheshire pays special attention to Miles ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Faces

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Chances are you probably haven’t heard of guitarist Andrew Cheshire. But as with the majority of jazz musicians, popularity is not synonymous with talent. Mr. Cheshire is a self-taught and self produced artist, and his latest release, simply titled Faces, is a collection of selected works from 1991 to 2001.

This is Cheshire’s seventh recording on his own recording label, Joule Records. The new release gives a glimpse into the skills in his jazz repertoire. The configurations range from ensemble to duo, with styles ranging from hard bop to free jazz. With numerous guitar personas to choose from, there’s much ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Guitar Noir

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Joe Pass in reduction

Guitar Noir is a moody little solo guitar soundtrack from the vastly underrated Andrew Cheshire. Cheshire is well known for having an omnivorous appetite for musical genre that is apparent on his five some releases on his record label Joule. Difficult to categorize, Cheshire's playing ranges from Jeff Beck Fusion to Joe Pass Mainstream.

A perfect soundscape for a dense and twisted mystery thriller, Guitar Noir finds Mr. Cheshire investigating the darker side of the solo jazz guitar. His playing is full of nervous scales and arpeggios. It is music typified by tapping one's foot while ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Magic

Magic , Pennsylvania-based guitarist Andrew Cheshire's fifth CD as a leader, is a highly interactive, improvizational affair. Operating with just bass and drums in two different personnel combinations, the sound is, as you would expect, open and sparse. The bassists and drummers also chart their own improvizational course throughout most of the tunes, so the outing is pretty open-ended and free, although the underlying meter and chord structure of each tune usually remains evident.

The first half of the program is comprised of all Cheshire originals and features long-established pros in bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart. Both men ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Relax, Keep the Tension Please

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For better or worse the CIMP imprint is burdened with great deal of baggage stemming from their stubborn adherence to certain self-imposed philosophical and methodological parameters. In addition to the controversial recording techniques they employ on their sessions the label also has a reputation for myopically centering on the freer strains of creative improvised music. An examination of the wealth of material in their catalog lends some credence to this argument, but also visible are notable exceptions of which this disc by Cheshire is one.

The program here is an intriguing blend of standards with a pair of Cheshire scribed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Magic

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Of all jazz genres free jazz is arguably the most misunderstood. Ask your average throng of Wynton Marsalis disciples to describe its attributes and adjectives such as “loud”, “dissonant”, “abrasive,” “self-indulgent” are likely to spring from their lips in reply. Though many free improvisers incorporate elements in their music that could be described with these kinds of appellations there are others that come at the approach from a completely different direction. Andrew Cheshire is one such cat. His sound on guitar balances a chordal versatility with an affinity for slipping outside standard progressions and playing beyond such parameters. Whatever his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Water Street Revival

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The All-Music Guide rates Andrew Cheshire's Water Street Revival as a “Best of Artist". Released in 1998, this collection is culled from four different sessions recorded between 1990 and 1991. Cheshire surrounds himself with a stable of talented musicians, performing in a quintet with vibes, and a trio. In the quintet setting, Cheshire plays with a controlled grace, relying more on his exceptional compositional skills rather than his chops. The title cut and “Search for Truth" are intelligently convoluted and complex, deliberately swinging. The disc highlights begin with the trio-led “Jet" and self propel to the end. In the trio ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Water Street Revival

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Mainstream jazz guitar has a universal appeal because of its natural timbre and the graceful articulation that can be achieved through practiced dexterity. Andrew Cheshire incorporates those elements plus a melodic sense that lends itself to smoother ballads ripe for a wider radio market. Recorded in 1990-92 with three different units, Water Street Revival draws together the various roots that make up the guitarist's unique sound. This is Cheshire's third album as a leader; a fourth, Relax, Keep The Tension, Please , was released in 1998 on the CIMP label.

Except for Cole Porter's “I Love You," Water Street Revival ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Water Street Revival

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Water Street was a warehouse district in Brooklyn, its ancient blocks standing grimly as a city grows around them. Andrew Cheshire was not grim; on the cover he leans on his guitar, looking hopeful. He had reason to: contained here are three sessions from early 'Nineties, showing skill, muscle and thought, as he shows his stuff with a variety of groups. Several of these players are now famous; it would not surprise me if Andrew became the next.

“Water Street Revival" does not sound like the buildings look. It's a bright flash of happy sound. Piano and vibes build a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cheshire: Another View

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Andrew Cheshire’s quintet captures the essence of straight-ahead jazz as only the best have done these past few decades. His compositions feature the familiar sounds we remember; however, they’re updated by his stellar electric guitar labors. The complete liner notes for Another View and a biographical sketch may be found at http://www.voicenet.com/~joule/abio.html .

The guitarist relies on a vocal-like articulation that appears to have roots in the blues. Gentle slides, fluctuating harmonic sprays, and free-flowing phrases characterize much of his work on this session. Cheshire has finely-honed technical skills on his instrument; yet he shares the bandstand equally with the ...



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