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by Chris M. Slawecki
In a 1977 magazine interview, New York Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson (in)famously referred to himself as the straw that stirs the drink" for his team. On this trio set with organ player and composer Ron Oswanski and bassist-composer Christian Fabian (who also shaped the arrangements), the one and only original funky drummer Bernard Purdie keeps stirring his drum pots to help this trio's funky and rhythmic grooves to Move On!. The leadoff The Red Plaza" and ...read more
by Jack Bowers
No one receives top billing in this tight-knit trio, which embodies organist Ron Oswanski, bassist Christian Fabian and drummer Bernard Pretty" Purdie. And that is as it should be, as each of them is indispensable to its success. That success is further predicated on how well the three amigos enhance an agenda that is heavily laden with funk and soul including five greasy compositions by Fabian and others by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and even Julia Ward Howe (a gritty ...read more
by Roger Farbey
Lance Bryant and Christian Fabian (both alumni of Berklee College) met when playing in the Lionel Hampton Big Band. Jason Marsalis, a younger member of the famous jazz dynasty, subsequently joined the Hampton band to replace its late leader on vibes. There are several strands to this intriguing recording. The blues is overtly featured in the opener Five Minute Blues" characterised by Bryant's big toned tenor and his bluesy style pervades many of the numbers sharing a similar sensibility to ...read more
by Jeff Dayton-Johnson
Pianist Falkner Evans is a distant relative of the great American novelist William Faulkner, by the same obscure Southern logic by which Al Gore and Gore Vidal are related. He is also a former pianist for the tight Western swing outfit Asleep at the Wheel and leader of an acclaimed piano trio.Evans's famed ancestor once wrote, The past is never dead. It's not even past." Seen in the right light, this is not a bad axiom for 21st ...read more
by Mark Corroto
It is natural to equate a bit of hubris with jazz, but pianist Falkner Evans checks his ego at the door on The Point Of The Moon.Like his previous trio session, Arc (CAP, 2007), he returns with bassist Belden Bullock and drummer Matt Wilson, but supplements things with the horn frontline of tenor saxophonist Greg Tardy and trumpeter Ron Horton. If it weren't for Evans' name on The Point Of The Moon's cover, it might not seem like ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Italy was the source of inspiration that gave semblance to composer, arranger and pianist Jay D'Amico's 2001 recording of Ponte Novello (CAP). He went back to Italy and, as with the earlier visit, found that he was stimulated enough to write more music.
D'Amico became interested in playing the piano after listening to the music of Frederick Chopin and drawn to jazz after seeing an Oscar Peterson performance on television. While his compositions are redolent of his classical bent D'Amico ...read more
by Jack Bowers
Some years ago I reviewed Ponte Novello (CAP, 2001) by pianist Jay D'Amico's trio (augmented on four tracks by a string section), and was impressed by the way in which he transposed operatic arias by Puccini, Bellini and Verdi, among others, to the jazz idiom, leaving their inherent beauty intact while proving that those masters have much to say to a contemporary audience if their music is prudently amended under the proper circumstances.
Tuscan Prelude is a collection of original ...read more