Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

261

Loren Stillman: Blind Date

By

Sign in to view read count
Not having the advantage of hearing altoist Loren Stillman's earlier albums, Blind Date can only be compared to having seen him in concert some five years ago. Opening for the more straight-ahead Lew Tabackin Quintet and singer Roberta Gamborini, Stillman and his quartet showed no mercy and spent the entire set in full free jazz flight. Stillman had either misjudged this very mainstream audience or wanted to make the most of such an opportunity.

Blind Date begins promisingly, the title tune showcasing Stillman's balladry and coming across fully as a combination of Lee Konitz and a dry martini; the perfect start for someone who blew the house away—a negative connotation—with his avant-garde playing in the past.

Stillman reports that he studied with both Konitz and Dave Liebman, but his influences also include Béla Bartók and Frank Zappa. After bassist Drew Gress and pianist Gary Versace solo on the seven minute-plus "What Will People Think," the altoist approaches his playing with some edginess, in the general vicinity of Ornette Coleman's early-1960s Atlantic period.

Stillman's group is well-chosen to accompany him. Versace doesn't always provide the more standardized comping and cushioning, laying out during Stillman's solo on "Theme For A New Regime," while providing some dissonant flourishes on "Don't Be Too Nice" that are later matched by Gress and drummer Joey Baron. Gress and Baron are individualistic musicians and the drummer's experience with outside players helps.



"Theme for a New Regime" and "Don't Be Too Nice" find Stillman very carefully toeing a line between mainstream and avant-garde. It is almost as if his long phrases and swoops are making it clear that he is fully capable of taking it out, but is providing just a taste of it here. Appropriately, the closing tracks ("Major," "Legroom" and "Etude) offer something that this listener would want to hear more of, but that may well have to wait for another occasion.

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: 2008 | Record Label: Pirouet Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Evil Olive

Evil Olive

Loren Stillman
It Could Be Anything

Going Public

Going Public

Fresh Sound Records
2014

buy
 

The Big Eyes

Fresh Sound New Talent
2012

buy
Winter Fruits

Winter Fruits

Pirouet Records
2009

buy
Blind Date

Blind Date

Pirouet Records
2008

buy
Blind Date

Blind Date

Pirouet Records
2007

buy
 

Trio Alto - Volume One

SteepleChase Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019