2

Spero: Acoustic

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Spero: Acoustic Greg Spero is a man of many parts in his approach to the piano. Based in Chicago, he has been involved in the city's adventurous jazz scene, having played with trumpeter Corey Wilkes and bassist Harrison Bankhead. But he goes beyond these boundaries, finding inspiration in hip-hop and electric distortion, which is quite a way from his early influences that included pianist Oscar Peterson and classical composer Igor Stravinsky.

This recording is aptly titled, for Spero finds his muse in soft shadings and his introspective sensibility creates a largely laidback atmosphere. There are moments when he triggers impetus, gradually driving the tempo up, as he does on "Blue in Green." The cogent transmutation nerves the tune and gives it a radiant inner core making it breathe with passion. He is ably aided by drummer Makaya McCraven, who adds a host of colors that dance from his cymbals.

"Flow" circles in eddies as Spero dwells on the theme, while McCracken accents it into a deeper groove. Then, Spero slips out of the stream by executing a stronger extension of the melody with spirited verve and the tune now has a focused sense of direction and vigor, turning into a tasteful treat.

Spero adds strong chord work to his musings on "Latin Fusion Blues" that complement his rippling notes. However, the melody is not very memorable and the groove is missing. The solo outing "Universe" has better progression and shows that Spero can light up a theme with sensitivity.

Spero channels his creative juices well enough, but they could do with a little more tang.

Track Listing: Hills; Latin Fusion Blues; Interlude One; Flow; Letting it Go; Interlude Two; Universe; Blues in Green; Universe.

Personnel: Greg Spero: piano; Makaya McCraven: drums; Matt Ulery: bass.

Title: Acoustic | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Blujazz Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "In Hollywood, 1971" CD/LP/Track Review In Hollywood, 1971
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Black Focus" CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Masters Of War" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Of War
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987" CD/LP/Track Review Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987
by John Kelman
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Invitation" CD/LP/Track Review Invitation
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Liquid Melodies" CD/LP/Track Review Liquid Melodies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 1, 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.