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Acoustic is the Key...Almost. The Acoustic Jazz Quartet is a smart group of young musicians with a sound as fresh and forward as a strawberry bursting on the roof of your mouth. Their self-titled debut starts swinging and never stops. Perpétuel Mouvement.
A Known Entity. Tenor and Soprano Saxophonist David Sills made his Naxos Jazz debut in 1998 with Journey Together (Naxos Jazz 86023-2). His style was an updated Stan Getz/Lester Young combination that strained through his education and experience provided some of the most enjoyable tenor music to be released by the Naxos Jazz label. Sills has a meticulously manicured tone that reflects much listening and practice. He joins a young and accomplished guitar-based rhythm section lead by guitarist Jamie Findley.
Guitar-Tenor. Findley, whether playing acoustic or electric, provides a seamless foil to Sills. He too has a perfect tone and performance. Together they share a warmth and sincere empathy that is immediately appealing. I have played this disc many times and my colleagues that have stopped by to listen all liked it, jazz enthusiast or not (a good sign!). The consensus disc center of gravity is bassist Zac Matthews’ blues, “Just Like it’sAlways Been”. The Quartet wisely opens its disc with this good-natured romp that immediately gets the listener’s attention. The remainder of the disc continues in the same seamless and comforting vein (check out the half-time stroll “Stompin’ at the Savoy”).
A Baker’s Dozen. Acoustic Jazz Quartet should be included in the Baker’s dozen of Naxos Jazz Releases. White-hot recommendation.
Track Listing: Just Like Its Always Been,; Felicidade; Bye The Grace; Cause (Coz); Stomping at the Savoy; through All Worlds; Soul Eyes; Fashioner; Living With Life; Fragrance of Rhythm (I Small Rhythm) (Total Playing Time 61:31).
Personnel: Jamie Findlay: Guitars; David Sills: Saxophones; Zac Matthews: Bass, Dean Koba: Drums.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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