8-string acoustic guitarist Jack West melds organically induced homespun themes with blues and jazz overtones on his fifth release, titled Big Ideas. Here, “Jack West and Curvature” renders subtle intimacy along with pumping beats and atmospheric propositions as the guitarist makes every note count whether pursuing bluesy bottleneck slide choruses or jazzy lines amid enticing harmonic relationships with cellist Mark Summer and marimba performer Joel Davel. Drummer Scott Amendola, primarily known for his ongoing affiliation with guitarist Charlie Hunter, rounds out an overall sound brimming with quaint melodies and expansive interplay.
Pieces such as “Something About the Dream” and “This Life Reprise” are comprised of cyclic movements, sublime harmonies, East Indian undercurrents and brisk soloing by West, Summer and Davel. However, on “Same Planet, Different Universe”, West fuses jazz-based voicings with Caribbean and Classical elements atop Amendola’s delicate brush work and the band’s buoyant passages and multihued tonalities. Overall, Jack West presents the listener with a hybrid approach to jazz yet the artist’s memorable compositions and glimmering technique bespeaks a fertile imagination, further enhanced by Lee Townsend’s insightful production and the musician’s sympathetic interaction. Recommended!
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.