Even though the liner notes penned by guitarist Bruce Arnold were written for fellow music scholars and guitar technicians, the music certainly was for us common listeners. Arnold, a Berklee School graduate, releases A Few Dozen, a follow up to his first recording as leader entitled Blue Eleven. He also works in Release The Hounds, a free jazz improv trio and Spooky Actions, an ensemble that reworks modern classical music. What is particularly striking about the music is his ability to slip into an out of moods and textures. The disc opens with a Bern Nix-like blues swinger, followed by a lovely ballad with bassist Ratzo Harris getting all sentimental laying down a bass line. Arnold navigates the post-bop “7th Street” over some track-ending electronics. The trio has much more in their bag including a deconstructed rumba and some space music. Each of the pieces could be the jumping off point for an entire album of music and I would certainly endorse that notion.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.