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Lacking the angularity of the Classic Trio Meets Eric Alexander (Sharp Nine, 2002), Circles represents another important addition to the acoustic contemporary canon. Matthew Parrish is a young double-bassist who displays formidable chops in performance, arrangement, and composition. Circles is his debut recording and is impressive as a first outing. Parrish's own compositions range from the fringe contemporary of "Bee-Doe-Lot" to the bluesy "This One's For Al" to the extended ballad consideration of the title track. He presents a moody ethereal duet with pianist Vincent Bourgeyx.
The standards are explosive. "Seven Steps to Heaven" is perfect Be Bop performed with a digital sensibility. The talented Joel Frahm absolutely burns on tenor. The unlikely spiritual "Go Tell It on the Mountain" shows up effectively with a light Caribbean accent, representing the quiet center of the recording. Ellington's "Flirtbird" rounds out this fine recording as a bonus track, giving everyone ample time to make their respective statements. This disc is filled up with interesting and challenging music. Strongly recommended.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.