is the third Origin Records CD offering from the John Stowell/Michael Zilber Quartet
, following Shot Through With Beauty
(2009) and Live Beauty
, (2013). Guitarist Stowell's approach is distinctivesilvery chords and pinprick single notes that reverberate from the rafters. Saxophonist Zilber is a flawless, soulful technician on soprano and tenor saxophones. Bassist John Shifflett
and drummer Jason Lewis
are perfection in the supportive rhythm rolls. It all comes together in a cohesive set that is probing and cerebral and laid-back approachable.
The set features two classics: Jerome Kern's "Nobody Else but Me" and the closer, pianist Bill Evans
' "Very Early." All other tunes are originals from the pens of Stowell or Zilber, with one group-written composition, "Later that Night," thatwith such a groovedoesn't sound like a free improvisation, though it may well be.
The disc's title tune, written by Zilber, opens the set on a reflective note. Zilber is exquisite on soprano horn, and he adds some almost subliminal piano to the rhythm, a subtle and beautiful sparkle behind Stowell's piquant solo. Jerome Kern's "Nobody Else But Me" is given a playful turn, and "Stowell In Heart," from Zilber's pen, is introspective, wandering, lovely, a somewhat amorphous type of tune that could be mistaken for a Wayne Shorter composition. Stowell's "Violin Memory" features Zilber putting out a robust and gritty sound on tenor sax to contrast with Stowell's effortless grace.
With three disc's now to their credit, the John Stowell/Michael Zilber Quartet has crafted a group sound as individualistic, and as modernistic and compelling, as any out there.
Track Listing: Basement Blues; Nobody Else But Me; Stowell In Heart; Stay Right There; Violin
Memory; Later That Night; I Wish; Have Yourself A Vince Guaraldi Xmas; Stowell
Mates; Very Early.
Personnel: Michael Zilber: saxophones, piano; John Stowell: guitars; John Shifflett: bass;
Jason Lewis: drums.
Title: Basement Blues
| Year Released: 2016
| Record Label: Origin Records