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Loren Stillman: Blind Date

Jerry D'Souza By

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A blind date can be risky, cause apprehension and kindle a sense of adventure. Anticipating Loren Stillman's foray into his own Blind Date stirs all those feelings.



Stillman has been inspired by jazz as he has with classical music. His compositions reflect both streams, and his narratives are eloquent. He brings in a minimalist approach, letting the notes fall in random and float in the wide space he provides. He brings in contrast as well, with closely woven textures and a forward emphatic thrust. Both make for logical explorations and help shape a stimulating album.



Stillman's approach to "Blind Date is interesting. He floats in and out of the melody marking its presence but never giving it a pronounced shape. It is left to Gary Versace (piano) to define the melody and let it swing lightly. The ethereal beauty of the composition having been manifested, Stillman lets the composition sing its final notes in a deeper groove.



Oblique references also fill "What Will Other People Think. Stillman's interjections and intense angular probing are countenanced by Drew Gress who opens the harmony to jazz on his expansive bass solo and by Versace, who once again adds swing and a well of ideas. Stillman gets a hard punch into the beat and turns the tune into a nice shade of bop. The approach makes for a fine balance.



Shape Shifter has a compact sense of jazz harmony. Gress and Versace set the tone with their interplay before Stillman comes in, delving with appealing flair into the melody, constantly sifting ideas and turning them into little gems. Drummer Joey Baron's take on time adds to the flavor as he primes it just a shade ahead of that evoked by Stillman.



Each of the musicians is pivotal to the evolution of the compositions. They come up spades both in their individual inventions and their collective paths.

Track Listing: Blind Date; What Will Other People Think; Etude; Shape Shifter; Theme For A New Regime; Don't Be Too Nice; Major; Legroom; Etude - Reprise.

Personnel: Loren Stillman: alto saxophone; Gary Versace: piano; Drew Gress: bass; Joey Baron drums.

Title: Blind Date | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Pirouet Records

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