1

Keith Pray: Confluence

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
When most people discuss the jazz scene in New York, they're referring to the music that's made in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, but the Empire State stretches far beyond the city that never sleeps and jazz is made in many a locale within. The Capital region, for example, has its own burgeoning jazz scene that's worth noting and saxophonist Keith Pray is a key part of it.

Pray has become a force for furthering jazz through performance and education. He directs the Proctors Summer Jazz Institute, teaches jazz arranging and history at Schenectady County Community College, and teaches instrumental music in the Schenectady City School District. When Pray isn't instilling a love for jazz in the next generation, he can be found playing with bands of all shapes and sizes. For this, his fifth date as a leader, he initially brought his quartet together, but that wasn't the end of it. Inspired by a long ago encounter with a John Scofield-augmented Joe Henderson trio, Pray decided to add a fifth wheel in the form of guitarist Chuck D'Aloia and it was a wise choice.

All five men move through this originals-heavy session with fervor and focus as they touch on myriad ideas. Loose, flowing forms ("Alley Cat") comfortably mingle with waltzing pleasantries ("Two Years Of The Lotus Blossom"), catchy minor blues ("The Calling") and sly swingers ("Winter Brings"), giving the band an opportunity to explore various harmonic, melodic and rhythmic terrain. The high energy affairs, including the McCoy Tyner-ish title track and a rocking take on John Coltrane's "Africa," prove to be the album highlights, but Pray's positive and spirited playing keeps things interesting in every setting, from the mellow "Song For Katie" to the Brazilian-bottomed "Triangle, Circle, Square."

The musicians and materials that Pray brought together for this date fit hand in glove, demonstrating that this album title isn't mere hyperbolic lip service to an unmet ideal. Confluence truly lives up to its name.

Track Listing: The Calling; Triangle, Circle, Square; Alley Cat; Gingerbread Boy; Vamp for Peace; Two Years of the Lotus Blossom; Africa; Song for Katie; Confluence; Winter Brings.

Personnel: Keith Pray: alto saxophone; Chuck D'Aloia: guitar; Peter Tomlinson: piano; Lou Pappas: bass; Jeff "Siege" Siegle: drums.

Title: Confluence | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: ARC - Artists Recording Collective


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Songs Without Words" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Without Words
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Rekihndled" CD/LP/Track Review Rekihndled
by Doug Collette
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Happiness!" CD/LP/Track Review Happiness!
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.