5

Ron Oswanski: December's Moon

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Ron Oswanski: December's Moon 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: Hammond B-3 Organ, piano, accordion; Tim Ries: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; John Abercrombie: electric guitar (1, 5, 8, 9, 11); Jay Azzolina: acoustic guitar, electric guitar (2, 4, 6); John Patitucci: bass; Clarence Penn: drums, percussion (2-4, 6, 12); Ian Froman: drums (1, 5, 7-10.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Portraits and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Portraits and Places
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Meeting At The Parting Place" CD/LP/Track Review Meeting At The Parting Place
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Life Compass On!" CD/LP/Track Review Life Compass On!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Shipwreck 4" CD/LP/Track Review Shipwreck 4
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Live in 1967 Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Live in 1967 Volume Two
by Doug Collette
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017

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!