New Mexico is recognized as an artists' haven, but not an area that features jazz-rock power trios. Nonetheless, there are always exceptions to the perceived rule. Marked by strong material, consisting of memorable hooks, guitarist Robert Branch's sizzling riffs and blitzing crunch chords steer the band through a string of tension and release stylizations.
The trio also strikes a chord that might parlay notions of classic prog-guitar heroes, Joe Satriani, Greg Howe and Allan Holdsworth. The rhythm section seldom overstates its cause, but generates enough heat for Branch's cleanly articulated lines and sustain-driven attack. They tone it down in spots through quaintly organized motifs and ethereal, loops driven passages.
The musicians sport a laid-back country-jazz gait on "Melancholia," where Branch ups the ante with a climactic and blistering solo. However, the trio does a 360 on the rapidly swinging "Not For Not," where Branch switches to acoustic piano. Essentially, this piece elicits notions of Chick Corea acoustic piano based modern jazz, largely due to Branch's fluent chord clusters and the unit's knotty time signatures.
It's not about reinventing the wheel or integrating nouveau concepts. Other than the appealing thematic movements, dynamics are employed as enhancements to primary themes and to Branch's solo spots. Subtle surprises are in abundance throughout.
Track Listing: Smelling Salt; The Conversation Has Ended; Disparate Measures; Glass Or Adams; Time Walk;
Melancholia; On The Bayou; A Change Is Gonna Come; Texas Street; Phase Coherence; Silent
Fury; Not For Knot; Emerson; Faulty Wiring; Mississippi Infraction; Pavanne For Mom.
Personnel: Robert Branch: acoustic and electric guitars, piano, fender rhodes, loops; David Furnas: electric bass; Joshua English: drums.
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr. Garner, I love playing the piano... is there any advice you could give me?'' He hesitated, then looked back at me and said, Keep playin' and don't stop!'' That was great advice because at 60 years old, I'm still playin' and haven't stopped!