All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Ron Oswanski: December's Moon

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
With the possible exception of "love" and "you," "moon" enters as a most-welcomed word-muse to performers, composers and lyricists. When "jazz organ" enters into that equation, the expected aural summation might be the blues-infused funk of Jimmy Smith or the steamy straight-ahead of Joey DeFrancesco.

December's Moon from multi-keyboardist/composer—and now leader—Ron Oswanski, is a performance surprise that's full-moon bright and thoroughly invigorating. It's a predominantly organ-centric excursion across a series of contemporary-flavored originals and surprisingly-selected established compositions that soars.

Oswanski, a valued sideman with Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau, trumpeter Carl Fischer's Organic Grooves, Organik Vibe Trio and others, takes command here musically and compositionally. Performing with flair on organ, accordion and piano and backed by an outstanding team well-acquainted in the style, Oswanski solidifies himself as a most able explorer—and composer— of more contemporary material in the ECM vein.

Guitarist John Abercrombie, no stranger to that genre, brings significant gravitas to this fine effort without overshadowing his mates. Saxophonist Tim Ries delivers interpretations with superb lyrical, dynamic shadings. Jay Azzolina's guitar, while Abercrombie-inspired, is an original and welcomed voice and bassist John Patituccilays down a solid foundation. Drummers Clarence Penn and Ian Froman energize the material by way of solid communication with the ensemble and soloists.

The shrewdly-chosen selections are drawn from diverse sources ranging from jazz to the rock worlds—Kenny Wheeler's "Kayak" and Led Zepplin's "Rain Song," for example. Oswanski scripts seven intriguing tunes that provide gorgeous platforms for the multi-layered interpretations: "Milk of the Moon" and the hands-down killer title cut.

Never neglected by any jazz organist, there's straight-ahead ("80-80- 8," "Standard Tile") where Oswanski demonstrates he can cook with the more celebrated chefs in the organ kitchen. His accordion is a perfect sonic touch, fitting seamlessly on "Solo Por Undia" and the exotically-flavored "Ukrania Polka." His approach on that axe is—as on all three instruments (piano on "Evanessence")—highly expressive. He avoids cliché and obnoxious "Lady of Spain" technique displays.

While Nature's December's Moon might portend a deep, dark winter ahead, December's Moon augurs a beautifully poetic performance experience from a stellar musician and his shining supporting stars.

Track Listing: White Meadow; Solo Por Undia; December's Moon; Ukrania Polka; Mercury Retrograde; The Rain Song; Sleeping Beauty; 80-80-8; Milk of the Moon; Standard Tile; Kayak; Evanessence.

Personnel: Ron Oswanski: Hammand B-3 Organ, piano, accordian; Tim Ries: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; John Abercrombie: electric guitar (1, 5, 8, 9, 11); Jay Azzolina: accoustic guitar, electric guitar (2, 4, 6); John Patitucci: bass; Clarence Penn: drums, percussion (2-4, 6, 12); Ian Froman: drums (1, 5, 7-10).

Title: December's Moon | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

White Meadow

White Meadow

Ron Oswanski
December's Moon

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
December's Moon

December's Moon

Palmetto Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Dodecahedron CD/LP/Track Review
Dodecahedron
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2018
Read The Chopin Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Chopin Project
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "Air and Light and Time and Space" CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Threes" CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley" CD/LP/Track Review Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "async Remodels" CD/LP/Track Review async Remodels
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "The Last Night At The Old Place" CD/LP/Track Review The Last Night At The Old Place
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2018
Read "Deuce" CD/LP/Track Review Deuce
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 8, 2018