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Well, first off, I have to agree that Mr. LoCrasto's composition skills are superb and he is making the music his own, that is, something that makes a statement about who he is. On the other hand I have to disagree with Mr. Hunters statement that the downside is that "It’s not clear whether LoCrasto wants to be Bill Evans or Gil Evans." The upside is that he is not either of them, and that is what makes someone a great composer and performer. Of course his influences will be seen, but taking that next step of creating a style and voice that is his own is comendable. No great artists were remembered for how well they imitated the greats before them, but were remembered for how creatively they extrapolated what was done before and changed the direction of jazz music.
Furthermore, I think that Mr. LoCrasto's skills as a soloist are very versitle, making introspective statements on the melodies and ideas of this album. This can be seen in his solos on Jaded Brotherhood and After Dusk. The two compositions are very different in terms of mood and each of his solos demonstrate this versitility. The first being driven by the energy of the rythym section creating insightful lines and showing the mastery of his left hand, while the later, having a laidback latin feel, creates beautiful harmonies, reminiscent of Joao Gilberto. The others members, seem to understand the music for what it says and instead of holding back they add to its lyricism. In my review of J. Hunter's review, he contradicts himself by asking more from the soloists, yet at the same time simplicity. Also he completely misinturprets the music, which acutally is fairly simple and accessible to the listener. What does Hunter have to say about the music of Greg Osby or Kurt Rosenwinkel?
I'm not entirely sure when this disease first reared is disfigured countenance; critics thinking they have some idea of how music works. The comparison of Mr. LoCrasto and either Bill or Gill Evans, is entirely worthless. As usual, this seems to be another misguided and shallow observation. When you look at this music on a very base, surface level, you might say "Golly gee willikers, this album has strings and woodwinds, it sounds like Gill Evans!" Or, "Great Oden's raven, it sounds like classical music!" This is obviously the opinion of someone who is untrained in the musical arts. In conversation, people who are ignorant about a given subject will often mention any names that they have a passing familiarity with. This usually serves to cover up their glaring inadequacies. This seems to be the case with this review. Explain to us how it wounds like Gill Evans. And not with the typical, metaphorical, pseudo-intellectual jargon that critics of all arts are notorious for. Intelligent, real, and useful observations would be greatly appreciated. For instance, perhaps you could give us an example of how the orchestration is similar in a certain section. Or how the harmony or counterpoint is related to the person you are comparing it to. Perhaps someday critics will understand how very little value their opinion will always have, unless they really decide to study music on a much, much deeper level.
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