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If this isn't a title that screams "hostage to fortune," I don't know what is, and whether or not this music lives up to it is a matter of opinion. What it is in effect is a programme of inoffensive, slightly dreamy modern mainstream thatgiven the silver tide of CD releases these dayscould be destined to make little impression.
As a guitarist Waldorff hews close to the model of John Abercrombie, but he lacks Abercrombie's way with a memorable composition and his ability to surprise. Four of the five pieces here are from his pen, and they inhabit some ill-defined ground between the line for blowing on and the kind of individual construction which asks searching questions.
There is a certain generic quality to Donny McCaslin's tenor sax sound, but this doesn't alter the fact that he consistently steals the solo honours here. On the lengthy "Astro" the burnished edge on his tone lends itself well to a certain melancholia, whilst the lope of "Alice" also allows him to play to his strengths. The quickly faded audience response to this one, however, hardly documents the excitement that many a live album has managed to capture in the past.
The often reflective nature of the music perhaps dictated this. The comparatively brief "Jeep" could just be the work of a group getting into its stride, but the fact that it's the last track on the disc suggests otherwise. Again the mood is one of polite calm, and though Jon Wikan's drumming shows he's able to take an interventionist approach, the name of the game again seems to be restraint.
Ultimately this isn't mood music, but too often it flirts with that idea to make demands on the listener's attention, and its closing is akin to putting a book back on a shelfonly for it to gather dust with the passing of time.
Track Listing: Alice; Jurotrash; Astro; Seen From Above; Jeep.
Personnel: Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Torben Waldorff: guitar, synthesiser (2); Matt Clohesy:
bass; Jon Wikan: drums.
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 ...