434

Dan Adler: All Things Familiar

Matthew Warnock By

Sign in to view read count
Dan Adler: All Things Familiar 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.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Windmills CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Ugly Beautiful CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Trickster CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Caipi CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Wisdom Of Elders" CD/LP/Track Review Wisdom Of Elders
by James Nadal
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Till They Lay Me Down" CD/LP/Track Review Till They Lay Me Down
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Rehab Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Rehab Reunion
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Hearts & Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Hearts & Minds
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!