303

Tony Grey: Chasing Shadows

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Tony Grey: Chasing Shadows The opening fifty seconds of unaccompanied bass-playing on "Chasing Shadows," the title track, demonstrate beyond a doubt that Tony Grey is an exceptional talent, finely balancing technical prowess with musical creativity. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn that one of his early teachers was guitarist John McLaughlin. Grey has played with an impressive list of jazz musicians and gained international success as part of pianist Hiromi Uehara's electrifying trio. Chasing Shadows, his second solo project, helps cement his growing reputation as composer and leader, and further stresses his status as one of the premier electric bassists today.

Melody is evidently of great importance to Grey, and several of the tunes have a dulcet, upbeat vibe not unlike the Yellow Jackets, or much of Pat Metheny Group's output. Such comparisons are due in part to the contributions of pianist Oli Rockberger, whose melodic, refined style lies somewhere between Russell Ferrante and Lyle Mays, respective keyboardists of the aforementioned groups. Echoes of Metheny's sound are also suggested by the presence on several tracks of harmonicist Gregoire Maret, who lent his distinctive, high-register sound to the Missouri guitarist's album The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005).

The hooks and melodies, however, only begin to hint at the music on Chasing Shadows, which is many-layered. Each listening throws up fresh nuances and reveals the sophistication of Grey's compositions. Strong writing is matched by top-notch performances from the excellent musicians involved.

Three drummers are employed: Martin Valihora, also from Hiromi's trio, fills in on the title track; and for the rest of the album the drum stool is filled by either Chris Dave or Ronald Bruner Jr. Dave's uncluttered, crisp style lends a direct, almost popish air to tunes like the quite lovely "Guiding Light," whereas Ronald Bruner Jr.'s approach to the drums, particularly on the challenging "No Man's Land" and the closing segment of "Peace of Mind," is more animated.

In-demand guitarist Lionel Loueke brings a flavor of Benin on the elegant, dancing "One of Those Lives," and Hiromi shines on the moody "Dark Within," her trademark racing-runs contrasting nicely with the slightly more economical approach of guitarist Tim Miller. On "No Man's Land," Miller executes arresting Holdsworth-type lines in an extended exchange with Grey. No matter at what tempo he's playing, Grey's articulation is exemplary, each note carrying its own weight. At the relatively young age of 33, one wonders just how far Tony Grey can push his instrument, as presently it would seem that there are only a handful of electric bassists quite as fluent and creative as him.

As composer, Grey displays the same attributes of imagination, taste and craftsmanship which he does in his playing. This is music which appeals to the ear, the feet and brain alike, and it's a winning combination.


Track Listing: Chasing Shadows; Walking In Walking Out; Guiding Light; No Mans Land; Don't Look for Love; Peace of Mind; Dark Within; One of Those Lives; Where Does It End.

Personnel: Tony Grey: bass; Chris Dave: drums (1,3,5,7); Ronald Bruner, Jr: drums (4,6,8,9); Martin Valihora: drums (2); Oliver Rockberger: piano, keyboards; Hiromi: piano (7); Tim Miller: guitar (4,7); John Shannon: guitar (9); Lionel Loueke: guitar(6,8); Elliot Mason: trombone (5), bass trumpet (1,4); Gregoire Maret: harmonica (1,3,5); Bob Reynolds: soprano saxophone (2), tenor saxophone (8); Dan Brantigan: trumpet (3).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Abstract Logix | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 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 "Imagine That" CD/LP/Track Review Imagine That
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Live At Blues Alley" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Blues Alley
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Odil - Something" CD/LP/Track Review Odil - Something
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!