282

The Alex Levin Trio: A Reason for Being Alone

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
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).

Additional information

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

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Square Peg
Square Peg
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Fourth Dimension
Fourth Dimension
By Troy Dostert
Read Actio / re:actio
Actio / re:actio
By Friedrich Kunzmann
Read Peaceful King
Peaceful King
By Chris May
Read Brazilian Whispers
Brazilian Whispers
By Dan Bilawsky
Read There From Here
There From Here
By Friedrich Kunzmann
Read Earth
Earth
By Mike Jurkovic