How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Like a breath of fresh air, guitarist Larry Roy and vibraphonist Stefan Bauer bring something new to the modern mainstream arena. Their natural timbres overlap and invite characteristic melodies from various world cultures, which the duo folds into one project. The addition of various exotic drums, harmonica, oboe, and soprano saxophone rework the tried-and-true hard bop formula into one that opens doors for expansion while emphasizing lyricism. Bauer and Roy have worked together for a decade, forming a duo they call Joint Adventure.
Guesting on three tracks of Summer’s Embrace, Howard Levy adds a lyrical, blues-tinged dimension to remind us where the emphasis should lie in modern mainstream jazz. His harmonica sweeps the melody gently around the room, settling into a natural "world music" summation of the way things work out when we fit the pieces together properly. Paul McCandless joins the unit for three tracks: oboe coloring "Summer’s Embrace" while soprano saxophone portrays both "33 Nel" and "Some Other Time." As with the other voices, McCandless adds a sweet natural sound to the session with an obvious respect for melody. Recommended, this joint adventure blends vibes and acoustic guitar in an uplifting program with common sense and a world vision.
Track Listing: Hopolis; A Quarter to Three; 33 Nel; Falling Grace; Yakaranda; Summer
Personnel: Larry Roy- guitars; Stefan Bauer- vibraharp, marimba on "33 Nel;" Howard Levy- harmonica; Paul McCandless- soprano saxophone, oboe; Rick Lazar- percussion; Todd Isler- hadgini drums on "Dis Donc."