Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.

I want to help

Mike Pardew: Azul

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Pardew: Azul Portland, Oregon area guitarist Mike Pardew executes the first several tracks of this trio date with sleek jazz grooves and meticulously designed phrasings. Then he occasionally undercuts some of the passages with ominous theme building maneuvers atop his rhythm section's deep and pulsating grooves. But on the later tracks, Pardew turns up the heat with distortion and sustain techniques, where he treads upon jazz-rock, jazz-fusion, and progressive-metal frameworks.

With bassist Damian Erskine's cleanly enacted, pumping electric bass lines, and drummer Micah Kassell's brusque backbeats, the guitarist is offered a fluid but sturdy improvisational base. And on pieces such as "Stairwell," Pardew zooms in for the kill via his edgy, soaring, and highly-electric licks to complement the rhythm section's spunky bottom-end. Pardew and Erskine also generate low heat with crunching unison lines. In light of that, the trio pursues a higher-octane and louder musical plane as the program moves forward.

On "Flathead Lake," Pardew puts his guitar into overdrive with some prog-metal overtones amid a freaky answering machine voice message dub, then sojourns into a weighty rock motif, evidenced during the explosive "Bigfork." Ultimately, the band cycles through a consortium of interesting developments, although most of these works are constructed with medium-tempo pulses.

No speed metal or superfluous fuzoid romps here. On the contrary, Pardew merges good taste and formidable chops with a game-plan that progresses into a vivacious feast for the neural network.

Track Listing: Shades; Azul; Welcome Home; Road Worn; Transgression; Hwy 93; Velonis; Ferrazzano; Stairwell; Flathead Lake; Bigfork; Alluvium.

Personnel: Mike Pardew: guitar; Damian Erskine: bass; Micah Kassell: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Afan Music | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


CD/LP/Track Review
  • Azul by Glenn Astarita
Read more articles
Afan Music
Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix
guitar, electric
John Coltrane John Coltrane
Kenny Burrell Kenny Burrell
Chick Corea Chick Corea
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
Milt Jackson Milt Jackson
Steve Coleman Steve Coleman
sax, alto

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus
Support our sponsor

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT  

New Service For Musicians!

Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with Premium Musician Profile.