“Evil Olive” by Loren Stillman
It Could Be Anything (Fresh Sound New Talent) by Loren Stillman
Much has been made of Loren's youth (he is 23), especially when juxtaposed against the maturity of his music. From where I stand, it is one of the highest achievements for a musician to develop an immediately recognizable sound and/or a compositional technique, both of which Loren has done. I have compared him in this way to Greg Osby (who is 20 years older) as one that has honed an individualistic sound and composing style. If jazz means anything, it is a musicians ability to express his or her individuality, and in this increasingly commercial world, someone who maintains their integrity while creating art is rare. Loren has been able to combine memorable melodies, pungent harmony and a rhythmic feel that invites the listener into his musical world thereby increasing accessibility while not sacrificing depth of meaning or emotion. In his heart of hearts, Loren is a melodist, and a gifted one at that. It does not take long to remember one of his melodies, but they are not tunes. They always sound extremely logical with the melodic contour having a feel of inevitability about it. This logic, though, does not imply predictability or exclude beauty. Rather,it feels almost Bachian in the way a line works itself out as if it is breathing and growing according to some internal plan. Personnel: Loren Stillman, Alto Saxophone & Composition Gary Versace, Piano Scott Lee, Bass Jeff Hirshfield, Drums
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