170

John Stein: Conversation Pieces

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Blessed are the eavesdroppers, for they shall overhear such consistently beguiling conversations as those between guitarist John Stein, reedmeister David "Fathead" Newman and their eloquent companions, bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa and drummer Greg Conroy. Even though the guitarist "puts words in his mouth" (all of the compositions are Stein's), Newman evidently relishes the thought-provoking interplay, as this is their second album together. The session is evenly divided between trio and quartet numbers with Newman playing alto on "Up and at 'Em," flute on "September," tenor on "Serengeti," "Stepping Stones" and "BB Blues," and Stein, Kaumeheiwa and Conroy conversing brilliantly among themselves on "Half Minor," "Oak Bluffs," "São Paulo," "Lucy Lou" and "The Willie Walk." When Newman is on board he and Stein work together as flawlessly as Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello; every note they play is as complementary as it is captivating. Newman, of course, is a known quantity, having paid his dues and earned respect over the years in a variety of formats from straight-ahead Jazz to R&B. There's no questioning his talents, which are abundantly clear on each of his five appearances. Stein, although nowhere near as prominent as Newman, brings a plethora of expertise to the table, playing and writing with conspicuous warmth and awareness. As a player, the technique is exemplary, the tone flat-out gorgeous; as a writer, the tunes are harmonically sophisticated but always charming and accessible. Even though Newman's is a towering presence, the trio numbers are outstanding in their own way, thanks to Stein's melodic artistry and the tasteful and near-telepathic group interplay. A marvelous album that cooks moderately but persuasively from start to finish.

Contact: Jardis Records, D-66583 Spiesen-Elversberg, Schubertstrasse 12, Germany. Web site, www.jardis.de. John Stein's web site, www.johnstein.com


Track Listing: Up and at 'Em; Serengeti; Half Minor; Oak Bluffs; September; Stepping Stones; S

Personnel: John Stein, guitar; David "Fathead" Newman, reeds; Keala Kaumeheiwa, bass; Greg Conroy, drums.

Title: Conversation Pieces | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Jardis Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Pole Of Inaccessibility" CD/LP/Track Review Pole Of Inaccessibility
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "There Is No Love" CD/LP/Track Review There Is No Love
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 18, 2017
Read "Inside The Moment" CD/LP/Track Review Inside The Moment
by James Nadal
Published: June 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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