All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Color Tones

Color Tones

Whaling City Sound
2017

buy
Wood and Strings

Wood and Strings

Whaling City Sound
2017

buy
Emotion

Emotion

Whaling City Sound
2014

buy
Bing Bang Boom!

Bing Bang Boom!

Whaling City Sound
2012

buy
Hi Fly

Hi Fly

Whaling City Sound
2011

buy
Raising the Roof

Raising the Roof

Whaling City Sound
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Live! CD/LP/Track Review
Live!
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 19, 2018
Read My Favorite Things(1960-1969) CD/LP/Track Review
My Favorite Things(1960-1969)
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 19, 2018
Read The Acadian Orogeny CD/LP/Track Review
The Acadian Orogeny
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 19, 2018
Read Drift CD/LP/Track Review
Drift
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Journey Moments CD/LP/Track Review
Journey Moments
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island CD/LP/Track Review
Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read "Moment Frozen" CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert" CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "The Acadian Orogeny" CD/LP/Track Review The Acadian Orogeny
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "Signal 9" CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "texting and driving" CD/LP/Track Review texting and driving
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: March 6, 2018
Read "Never Stop II" CD/LP/Track Review Never Stop II
by Samuel Stroup
Published: January 28, 2018