151

Travis Shook: Awake

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Travis Shook: Awake Seven years ago pianist Travis Shook went into a recording studio and emerged three days later having laid down enough material to come away with several new releases. Awake is one of the albums produced in that three-day recording session.

The album was recorded essentially as a core trio with bassist Jennifer Vincent and drummer Jaz Sawyer as the main players, but also include tenor saxophonist Kebbi Williams, trombonist Ron Westray and vocalist Veronica Nunn on selected tracks. Shook plays like a power pianist, often hammering the keys as he does on the title track and the Latin-flavored "Broadway. On the sensational fast-paced finale, "Nothing Like You, he pounces on the piano, beating it into submission on one of the album's best cuts, also featuring Nunn's only vocal appearance.

While there are only seven tracks on the album, they are all exceptional scores. There are two soft cuts that bring out the lighter side of the pianist's repertoire. "Touch and Go, is a slow melody covered with a warm and mellow feel. At less than two minutes in length, "Sacrifice is a brief delicate ballad and the only piece of music where the pianist plays unaccompanied. My personal favorite has to be the introspective and intriguing "Leviathan, one sensational tune showcasing the pianist's abundant talents.

At ten-and-a-half minutes, "Broadway is a hard-driving pick-up beat featuring Williams' tenor phrasings and a delicious piano dance by the leader. Shook provides three original compositions, of which the most interesting is "Counterblues, containing a sophisticated arrangement that moves the music along fast riff chordal changes resulting in one rather intense listen.

A thoroughly enjoyable set of contemporary jazz, Awake captures an exceptional performance by pianist Travis Shook, who succeeds in sculpting a warm and engaging album of rhythm-based beautiful music.


Track Listing: Awake; Touch and Go; Counterblues; Sacrifice; Leviathan; Broadway; Nothing Like You.

Personnel: Travis Shook: piano; Jennifer Vincent: bass; Jaz Sawyer: drums; Kebbi Williams: tenor saxophone (3, 6); Ron Westray: trombone (3); Veronica Nunn: vocals (7).

Title: Awake | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Dead Horse


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "The Chicago Plan" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Plan
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Moanin'" CD/LP/Track Review Moanin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Destinations" CD/LP/Track Review Destinations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "The Danish Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Danish Sessions
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 2, 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.