98

Paul Bollenback: Brightness of Being

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Bollenback: Brightness of Being Jazz guitar fans will not be disappointed by Brightness of Being, an offering of rich harmonics and octave-based solos in a collection of originals, covers of Stevie Wonder and Neil Young, adaptations from Puccini and Garcia de Leon, and a couple of songs immortalized by Ray Charles.

The original "Together finds Bollenback on acoustic guitar and Chris McNulty delivering wordless vocals. This soulful tune has a certain Brazilian feel, without exactly going into bossa nova territory. On Ray Charles' "You Don't Know Me, Bollenback makes you feel the melancholy of the song's words through his fingers. David "Fathead Newman guests, delivering a heartfelt solo that doesn't stray too far from the original melody. On "Unchain My Heart, the band improvises more freely, giving Newman and Bollenback more space.

Neil Young's underrated "Philadelphia, from the soundtrack to the film of the same name, receives a beautiful treatment. Bollenback plays acoustic again, and McNulty delivers the song's lyrics with feeling, fully translating the despair of Tom Hanks' AIDS-stricken character. Bassist James Genus' solo during the intro completely sets the tone.

One of the most challenging moments of making this recording was the guitarist's decision to take a section of Puccini's Tosca and adapt it into a jazz realm. The three-part suite, entitled "Dark Eyes of Floria Tosca, opens with a bass/guitar duet and then moves into a 5/4 band groove that features leads by saxophonist Gary Thomas and Bollenback. The third section, played in 7/4, has more speedy soloing; its descending mode represents, as the liner notes state, Tosca's leap from the tower to her death.

The eclectic selection on Brightness of Being keeps you guessing what's coming next, and the final result is just as satisfying as a five-course meal.


Track Listing: Together; Unchain My Heart; Don't You Worry About a Thing; Breathe; You Don't Know Me; 7 a.m. Special; El Desierto; Dark Eyes of Floria Tosca Part 1-3; Philadelphia; Siberian Passages.

Personnel: Paul Bollenback: guitar; David "Fathead" Newman: tenor saxophone; Tim Garland: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Gary Thomas: tenor saxophone; James Genus: bass; Terri-Lyne Carrington: drums; Ari Hoenig: drums; Chris McNulty: vocals.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Elefant Dreams Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "In Movement" CD/LP/Track Review In Movement
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "The Linda Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Linda Sessions
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Once Upon a Time Right Now" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon a Time Right Now
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "I Just Want to Get Paid!" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Want to Get Paid!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "The Meeting" CD/LP/Track Review The Meeting
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 17, 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!