282

The Alex Levin Trio: A Reason for Being Alone

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The Alex Levin Trio: A Reason for Being Alone The title of this disc might suggest an inward-looking or melancholic listening experience; but the Alex Levin Trio, plus a couple of tenor saxophonists sitting in—Max Hacker and Stacy Dillard—blows the roof off on the opener, "Blues on Thursday." It's a bright, gregarious, Art Blakey-esque sound, the horns sparring like a couple of free-swinging welterweights, snapping off jabs and flurries in front of a zingy rhythm. Put another quarter in the jukebox!

This is a "with guests" disc—the trio is joined on two more numbers by each of the saxophonists; a guitarist sits in on one tune, and a cellist plays on two more—but the title cut, with just the core trio, is an inward-looking, contemplative tune, with a memorable melody and an optimistic feeling. On "Emma's Ennui," a subtle, samba-like number that floats beautifully, Levin and the trio are joined by cellist William Martina and guitarist Chad Coe.

All the compositions on A Reason for Being Alone are Alex Levin originals. He has a nice touch for penning upbeat mainstream jazz tunes with strong melodies, and for changing moods while still maintaining a continuity of feeling.

"Her Solitary Wish" shows some dark colors, with some very strong horn playing from Dillard, along with an inventive Levin piano solo. The drifting, sad-sounding tune "Your Call" features cellist Martina again, while "New Schooled," with Max Hacker sitting in and smoldering on tenor sax, kicks up the energy level a few notches.

A strong, engaging mainstream effort.

Track Listing: Blues on Thursday; A Reason for Being Alone; Emma's Ennui; For Pete's Sake; Her Solitary Wish; Your Call; New Schooled; Polar Bear Waltz; Blues through Stained Glass.

Personnel: Alex Levin: piano; Diallo House: bass; Taylor Davis: drums; Max Hacker: tenor sax (1,7); Chad Coe: guitar (3); Stacy Dillard: tenor sax (1,5); William Martina: cello (3,6).

Title: A Reason For Being Alone | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Apology records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Float The Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Currents 0" CD/LP/Track Review Currents 0
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "You & I" CD/LP/Track Review You & I
by James Nadal
Published: June 4, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.