454

Vic Juris: Blue Horizon

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Vic Juris: Blue Horizon Sometimes you put on a disc and from the first note you know it's the real thing; honest, direct and completely unassuming, it resonates instantly. Such is the case with guitarist Vic Juris' new release, Blue Horizon. While there are certain precedents for what he does, he has a sound and approach all his own—and while he may not be the household name that some of his immediate contemporaries are, it is completely mystifying as to why this is so.

With a lineup that prominently features vibraphonist Joe Locke as well as bassist Jay Anderson, drummer Adam Nussbaum, and percussionist Jamey Haddad, Juris has created an album that manages to challenge without losing any of its accessibility. Like Pat Metheny, Juris shares the uncanny ability to take advanced harmonic concepts and mask them in deceptively simple sounding contexts. And the inclusion of Locke draws the line even further back to Metheny's first employer, Gary Burton, and his guitar-centric groups of the '60s and '70s. Still, while there is a certain lineage to Juris' music, he manages to imbue it with something indescribably him and completely modern.

Juris may have a warm electric tone that harkens to Metheny, but harmonically he is more directly related to John Abercrombie, with melodies that manage to be both singable and unpredictable. His formidable technique is evidenced only by the richness of his ideas; he is as economical as he is inventive. From the Brazilian-informed "Dancing Shadows" to the acoustic ballad "Soft Spoken," from the angular melody of "Kling On" to the more straightforward swing of "889," Juris is exciting, imaginative and, above all, lyrical. The best players manage to eschew predisposition, making each solo a unique experience, and Juris is clearly in that league.

Locke is, quite simply, the purist vibraphonist out there and, along with Stefon Harris and Steve Nelson, one of a small group of players who are truly developing the instrument's potential. His solos have that same sense of logical perfection so prevalent in Gary Burton's best work. John Abercrombie recently described Adam Nussbaum as "one of the most comfortable drummers in the world to play with—you can play anything with him and it all works because he's so adaptable and he swings so hard." On this record he continues to demonstrate why he remains in such high demand. Bassist Jay Anderson provides the perfect anchor and Jamey Haddad manages to colour the rhythm without getting in the way of the essential groove.

What is puzzling is how Juris, along with Locke and Nussbaum, can be musicians' musicians, high on the list for session and touring calls, yet eluding more widespread acclaim. On the strength of Blue Horizon , clearly in the running for this year's top ten list, it is the larger jazz public who is missing out. Anyone who hears this recording will know that this is what it's all about.


Track Listing: Dancing Shadows; Soft Spoken; Labyrinth; Kling On; Uphill; Gojo Duo; Sunset on Vega; Domo Duo; The Spanish Horse; 889; Vjay Duo; Blue Horizon; I've Heard That Song Before.

Personnel: Vic Juris: electric and acoustic guitar; Joe Locke: vibes, marimba; Jay Anderson: bass, producer; Adam Nussbaum: drums; Jamey Haddad: percussion; Kate Baker: vocals (1).

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Zoho Music | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Porcupine Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Porcupine Meat
by James Nadal
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Looking Back" CD/LP/Track Review Looking Back
by Jim Olin
Published: March 8, 2016
Read "Tracé Provisoire" CD/LP/Track Review Tracé Provisoire
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Open Window / Flying Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Open Window / Flying Colors
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!