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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 grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...