Guitarist Jamie Stewardson's new album, whose title refers to a ten-beat rhythmic cycle frequently used in Indian music, brings together a talented ensemble to explore nine original compositions. With Stewardson are tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, vibraphonist Alexei Tsiganov, bassist John Hebert and drummer George Schuller.
Stewardson studied under John Abercrombie and Mick Goodrick at the Banff Jazz Workshop and the New England Prep School. His initial experience dealt with supporting pop and R&B acts in a cruise ship setting; he also worked with George Russell, Mat Maneri and Jimmy Guiffre. I have to admit becoming a bit uneasy ...read more
The downside of more accessible jazz education is a proliferation of young players who speak the language but lack the kind of spark that marks great jazz. And as the new mainstream incorporates broader harmonic and rhythmic palettes, it's becoming even more difficult to avoid sounding purely cerebral. Not that there's anything wrong with an intellectual approach, but music also needs a physical component as well, something that speaks to the listener on a more instinctive emotional level.
Jhaptal is one of those records that straddles the line, at times providing a compelling mix of head and heart, elsewhere missing ...read more
Guitarist Jamie Stewardson approaches modern jazz composition with the kind of expertise that comes from dedicated study. A master's degree in jazz composition from the New England Conservatory and studies with John Abercrombie, Joe Maneri and Mick Goodrick have prepared him well.
Jhaptal, his second recording as leader, features nine of the guitarist's compositions, interpreted by his quintet with a mellow underlining. Jhaptal is a frequently used ten-beat rhythmic cycle, or tal, in Northern India. On the title track, you can feel the exotic rhythmic pulse as it drives the ensemble over a smooth landscape.
There ...read more
Jamie Stewardson uses the ten-beat cycle called jhaptal as the title for this recording. He uses the beat effectively to make the title tune a standout, but he goes beyond the North Indian rhythm cycle to gather several other idiomatic pulses as well. In tandem, they bring about a strength to his compositions, which are fleshed out by the band. Stewardson has gathered a sturdy cast of players, each with a vision that builds the body with sinew and soul.
Stewardson sets up the arrangement for Jhaptal on drums and bass before chiming in on the guitar. The ...read more
A Berklee and New England Conservatory graduate, guitarist Jamie Stewardson spent time gigging with jazz legends George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre and Mat Maneri after paying his dues backing up pop and soul acts on cruise ships. With a stellar backing band and a solid release to his name, Stewardson's days supporting road weary Motown acts should be a thing of the past. Jhaptal is Stewardson's second album as a leader.
Knitting Ornette Coleman's harmolodic theory, Arnold Schoenberg's dodecaphonics and Indian ragas into post bop structures might seem lofty and pretentious, but in Stewardson's hands these sources never overshadow ...read more
These sounds on Jhaptal are a long way from the O'Jays, the Temptations, Pattie Page or the Drifters, but guitarist Jamie Stewardson began his performing career on a cruise ship backing these pop oldies acts before he moved on to the higher challenge of playing with the likes of George Russell, Jimmy Guiffre and Mat Maneri.The arrangements all prove multilayered in this richly intricate ensemble outing with saxophone, vibes, guitar, bass and drums. No single member dominates the sound, though Tony Malaby, on tenor saxophone, sounds particularly inspired in a restrained, blend-into-the-collective-sound way, with something interesting going on ...read more
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