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Dave Fox: Dedication Suite

Eddie Becton By

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Although Dedication Suite is reminiscent of New York City's creative improv scene, pianist Dave Fox resides in North Carolina, quite removed from the Big Apple. Where many jazz fans embrace soft melodies and rhythms of the likes of Horace Silver and McCoy Tyner, Fox not only pushes the envelope, he simply ignites it. At times, he pursues subtle harmonies and complex rhythms, and just as you're beginning to settle in, bang!—a completely different direction.

On "Dedication #2: Impromptu," Fox begins with intermittent, haunting chords and then settles into an improvisational massaging of the piano chords—literally. The way he intersperses regular piano notes with plucks of the strings makes for an original collage. By contrast, "Interlude #2: Romance Todeslied," shows a gentle, harmonically emotional side of the pianist. Much of this piece, just under four minutes, is relatively soothing and shows that Fox does have tremendous command of his instrument, it's just that he's playing his way, unabashedly and unapologetically, not unlike Cecil Taylor. Similarly, "Dedication #3: Toccata," exemplifies his gentle side and that he's not solely concerned with unpredictable chord changes and impromptu sounds.

Most of the music on Dedication Suite is an acquired taste, largely because of its unpredictable nature and chord structures. But this recording should appeal to listeners expecting the unexpecting, delighting in the unpredictability of improvised music, and yearning for something new.

Track Listing: Prologue and Invocation; Mayday; Dedication #1; Interlude #1; Dedication #2; Interlude#2; Dedication #3; Finale; Conclusion and Evocation.

Personnel: Dave Fox: piano.

Title: Dedication Suite | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Umbrella Recordings

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