All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

434

Dan Adler: All Things Familiar

Matthew Warnock By

Sign in to view read count
All Things Familiar is a hard-swinging modern bop album led by guitarist Dan Adler. Adler has surrounded himself with a strong ensemble cast for the record, including pianist Richard Samuels, bassist Dmitri Kolesnik, drummer Philip Steward and saxophonist Grant Stewart. The album rests firmly in the jazz tradition without sounding like a carbon copy of an historical recording. The group comes together to lay down tracks that are full of bop vocabulary, deep-pocket swing and highly-creative improvisations.

The tunes on the album are a mix of originals written by Adler and arrangements of classic jazz standards. Each arrangement is fresh and not simply a retelling of these often-recorded tunes. A great example of this is Adler's arrangement of "Star Eyes." While all the elements of the original tune are present in Adler's version, he adds a series of dissonant piano voicings under the intro and A sections of the melody that immediately maks the tune his own. Before going too far with the dissonance, Adler brings the tune back into a swing feel with more standard voicings for the bridge, essentially cleansing the sonic palette before returning to the dissonant harmony for the final A section. It is moments like these that prevent the album from becoming a blowing session, as each of the standard tunes is approached from a new and unique angle.

Adler's playing is consistently solid on every tune. Firmly steeped in the bebop tradition, rarely does a line go by that doesn't exude a deep understanding of the genre's vocabulary. Not that Adler is simply "running lines" in his solos, his playing goes much further than that. While many players will run long lines and phrases taken directly from classic bebop solos, Adler's playing has evolved to the point where he is creating his own new and unique melodic ideas that use elements of bebop vocabulary, but are far from the realm of pure imitation. His solo on "Blues for Keren" is a great example of how Adler takes traditional vocabulary and makes it his own. The solo is full of short bebop motifs that Adler then warps and spins into new phrases that lift his playing to a level where it stands alongside some of the best modern bebop recordings of recent years.

All Things Familiar is filled with hard-swinging grooves, twisting and turning bebop based runs and smart and creative melodic interpretations. The rhythm section is tight and they constantly react to cues from the soloists, while throwing some back as well. All of which combine to lay down an album that is as easy to get into musically as it is intellectually engaging.

Track Listing: If I Were a Jazz Man; Star Eyes; You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; Talia's Waltz; All Things Familiar; Sivan's Samba; Emily; Blues for Keren; I Love You; Bird's Idea.

Personnel: Dan Adler: guitar; Richard Samuels: piano; Dmitri Kolesnik: bass; Philip Stewart: drums; Grant Stewart: tenor sax.

Title: All Things Familiar | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Talia's Waltz

Talia's Waltz

Dan Adler
All Things Familiar

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Back to the Bridge

EastWest Media
2011

buy
Back To The Bridge

Back To The Bridge

Self Produced
2010

buy
All Things Familiar

All Things Familiar

Self Produced
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Decay Of The Angel CD/LP/Track Review
Decay Of The Angel
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica CD/LP/Track Review
Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Sorrows & Triumphs CD/LP/Track Review
Sorrows & Triumphs
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Od Ponedelnik CD/LP/Track Review
Od Ponedelnik
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Coast to Crossroads CD/LP/Track Review
Coast to Crossroads
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 13, 2018
Read Body CD/LP/Track Review
Body
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Sounding Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "In Search Of A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review In Search Of A Dream
by Chris May
Published: July 2, 2018
Read "Last Minute Panic" CD/LP/Track Review Last Minute Panic
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "25th Anniversary Project" CD/LP/Track Review 25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Meridian" CD/LP/Track Review Meridian
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 8, 2018
Read "80 Years" CD/LP/Track Review 80 Years
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 10, 2017