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Pamai Chirdkiatisak: Dreamer

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Pamai Chirdkiatisak: Dreamer
"Music is a universal language."

"Jazz transcends bloodlines and borders."

Listening to guitarist Pamai Chirdkiatisak's debut album, Dreamer, one quickly realizes that those phrases are more than mere slogans or platitudes. The fact that Chirdkiatisak's admirable quartet is based in Bangkok, Thailand, is apparent only when reading the album cover and personnel listing. The music itself is as inclusive as mom, apple pie and honoring the flag. This is unvarnished jazz, born in America and nurtured around the world by those who are perceptive enough to discern its merit and talented enough to emulate and enrich its vocabulary.

When appraising, for example, the leader's reading of the standard "Taking a Chance on Love," the name "Pamai Chirdkiatisak" most likely doesn't spring readily to mind; the listener may instead entertain thoughts of such past masters as Herb Ellis, Jim Hall, Tal Farlow, Billy Bauer or Johnny Smith, as they are clearly among the virtuosos who helped shape Chirdkiatisak's self-assured style and spotless intonation. Chirdkiatisak fares equally well on Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debby" and George Shearing's "Conception," as he does on five of his own compositions and the introductions to two, "Dreamer" and "SSW."

Chirdkiatisak's approach is lean and lyrical, basically comprised of burnished single-note lines with firm chordal counterpoint when needed. Whatever the vibe or tempo, the leader is on his game, from the buoyant "Vonca Doll" through the closing "Pray," which presses ahead at a livelier clip than the customary supplication. "Bird Song" is an introspective psalm introduced by Siriwat Pliansanthia's resonant bass, "SSW" a seductive ballad on which pianist Pawin Limkangvanmongkol lends an earnest supportive voice and solos tastefully before Chirdkiatisak assumes command. "Vonca Doll" and "Conception" lean closest to flag- wavers, as even "Taking a Chance on Love" is performed at a more moderate groove that suits it well. Drummer Chanutr Techatananan keeps excellent time and solos deftly, as on "Conception," wherein he trades four-bar volleys with Chirdkiatisak and Limkangvanmongkol.

Close your eyes and open your ears, and Dreamer epitomizes the same special brand of jazz that was born and bred in the USA. Although the musicians' names may be hard to pronounce and the locale exotic, the unquenchable spirit of jazz is no less ardent in Bangkok than it is in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Brussels or Boston.

Track Listing

Vonca Doll; Intro Dreamer; Dreamer; Bird Song; Waltz for Debby; Taking a Chance on Love; Intro SSW; SSW; Conception; Pray.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Dreamer | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Self Produced


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