Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

215

John Stein: Encounterpoint

Matthew Warnock By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist John Stein has brought together an all-star ensemble for the album Encounterpoint and these world-class musicians deliver on every tune. The ensemble cast of Koichi Sate, keyboards, John Lockwood, bass, and Ze Eduardo Nazario on drums and percussion are always on top of their game. Whether it be a funk groove, hard swinger or relaxing bossa-nova tune, the energy and interaction are always solid throughout. With a band of this caliber it would hard for anyone to sound less than their best, but Stein is not one to rest on his heels as he pushes the band to new heights of creativity and emotion during his melodic interpretations and improvised solos.

Stein draws upon a wide variety of styles and influences with the tune selection on Encounterpoint. The album begins with the classic Duke Jordan tune "Jordu," which Stein has arranged to alternate swing and bossa feels during the melody sections while the solos remain in a bossa feel. There is a strong Brazilian influence throughout the album especially on the bossa-nova standards "Dindi" and "So Danco Samba," and with Nazario behind the kit there is always an element of Latin influenced groove creeping up in each song. Aside from the bossa-nova tunes there are also several hard-swinging bebop pieces such as "Close Your Eyes," a Monk influenced "Half-Whole Blues," and the funk-based "The Roundabout." The wide variety of musical styles prevents the album from becoming repetitive and allows each musician the chance to stretch in multiple musical situations.

Stein's playing is stellar throughout the album as he always seems to know when to burn, when to play melodically, and when to just lay out and let the band take over. Stein draws heavily from his bebop vocabulary throughout the record, though he never sounds repetitious and has a knack for twisting his lines and melodies into unexpected territory. Though he leaves most of the chord work to the more than capable hands of Sato, Stein does provide two simple, yet highly effective, chord melody introductions to the tunes "Line Drive" and "Dindi," with the latter being one of the albums brightest moments.

John Stein has really lifted the bar with Encounterpoint, not only for himself but for the jazz guitar quartet genre in general. The mixture of styles, world-class ensemble, and effective tune selection all combine to bring the most out of each individual musician and the group as a whole. The result is an album that is both intellectual stimulating and easily accessible at the same time.

Track Listing: Jordu; Line Drive; The Roundabout; Dindi; Close Your Eyes; Trois; Half-Whole Blues; So Danco Samba; You Don't Know What Love Is.

Personnel: John Stein: guitar, acoustic bass; Koichi Sato: keyboards; John Lockwood: acoustic bass; Ze Eduardo Nazario: drums, percussion.

Title: Encounterpoint | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Swinging In The Holidays" CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Varanda" CD/LP/Track Review Varanda
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "The Authorized Bang Collection" CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "For Massas" CD/LP/Track Review For Massas
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Some Great Songs Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Some Great Songs Vol. 2
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 6, 2017