Chris Gestrin Quartet: Times That Do Not Belong To Us

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Chris Gestrin - piano and synth, Bill Vint - saxophones, Joel Fountain - drums and beat, Danny Parker - half the bass, Marc Rogers - the other half.

Those are the players. Now meet the smooth, frozen delight music, punctuated softly by Gestrin's refined keyboard skill. Sticking to piano mostly (rather than an obvious synthesizer), he does opt for quiet time on most of the cd. Indeed, you'll have to turn up tracks like 'Chaconne' until they're clear enough. Recorded slightly lower than many cds that come this way, once up, there's certainly nothing wrong with this fine, almost experimental jazz.

Production quality: perfect (has to be for such radio friendly tracks). Playing: superb. Bill Vint vents 'Searching' and other 5 minute wanderings with a style reminiscent of Harold Land or David Murray. What you hear of it, anyway. For this particular track, Vint only lasts a moment. Then it's back to the nomadic sharps and flats of Gestrin, who roves between perfectionist and extortionist. Sometimes, he picks out the chords.... just so. Often, one hand'll hunt for just that right note, while the other hand fools around.

Sound good? It is. Considering the fact that 15 tracks add up to a rather eclectic (for smooth frontiers) 74 minutes, all tones and paces are covered. From the 1.5 minute 'Tuesday Mourning' to the effervescent title track 'Times That Do Not Belong To Us,' moments of ornate drama creep out of this cogent unit of players.

One of my favorites is all 8 minutes of 'All That's Found Is Lost,' more percussive than usual, especially in the later half. At times it's almost new age inspired, but hardly diminished. There is an element of togetherness, even when there's no one on but the pianist. And those solos are rare - if you listen intently.

Intense. That's what one might call this collection of specialized jazz. Though it is mostly 'slow moving,' the power behind it proves that a little goes a long way. All tracks are written by Gestrin, with one full-band composition looming under the name of - you guessed it - 'Times That Do Not Belong To Us.' They might not belong, but they are constantly a-changin'.

Personnel: Chris Gestrin - piano and synth Bill Vint - saxes Joel Fountain - drums and beat Danny Parker - half the bass Marc Rogers - the other half

Record Label: Independent Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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