Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

131

Jon De Lucia Group: Face No Face

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
The proliferation of university-level jazz programs has created a groundswell of young artists, ensuring that jazz remains alive and evolving. Still, the cookie-cutter approach of some programs means that only an exceptional few emerge as distinctive voices; the rest are competent but unmemorable. That, along with the sorry state of mentoring in the jazz community and a weak club scene in most cities, has resulted in too many albums by artists who are not yet ready to be leaders. At times, saxophonist Jon De Lucia's debut is mired in some of these problems. But Face No Face also transcends them enough to suggest that De Lucia and his group are worth watching.

The beginning of "The Glass Bead Game is promising enough, with a lengthy David Binney-like riff carried by guitarist Nir Felder, bassist Garth Stevenson and drummer Ziv Ravitz. De Lucia's economical solo ultimately leads into a theme that's doubled by pianist Leo Genovese, acting as a rallying point for the second part, which is where it hits some trouble. It may have shifting bar lines, but it's still a conventional two-chord vamp, and even Felder's jagged solo can't save it from being overly ponderous. A third section where De Lucia duets with Genovese is more interesting, as the pianist proves an oblique foil to De Lucia's clear construction.

"Emptiness is altogether more satisfying, demonstrating a clearer group chemistry. The more open-ended nature of the piece allows the group to take considerable liberties as it moves from a bass ostinato supporting De Lucia's cerebral solo into a more swinging middle section that lets him shift gears. Ravitz and Genovese are particularly responsive. Felder's solo, beginning as a delicate duet with Ravitz, moves towards more angular territory once Stevenson and Genovese re-enter—reminiscent of Jack DeJohnette's mid-1970s New Rags (ECM, 1977) with John Abercrombie.

De Lucia's interest in the Far East is evident on the traditional "Edo Komoriuta, featuring guest Sumie Kaneko's koto and shamisen. Leading into "Yugen, Ravitz's mallet work and Stevenson's fluid lines find the nexus of Occident and Orient.

The energetic "The Open Eye should have closed the disc. De Lucia delivers his most passionate solo of the set, and Genovese sounds equally vibrant, while Felder ranges from Frisellian chordal work to a more direct post bop stance. The rhythm section is on fire throughout. But De Lucia and Genovese falter with a lacklustre duet of Harry Warren's "I Wish I Knew that diminishes the individuality demonstrated elsewhere.

Still, Face No Face has its moments. De Lucia and his fellow Berklee grads are worth following for the promise of their strengths, rather than being dismissed for their weaknesses.


Track Listing: The Glass Bead Game; Emptiness; Really; Amir, The Brain Kid; Edo Komoriuta; Yugen; The Open Eye; I Wish I Knew.

Personnel: Jon De Lucia: alto and soprano saxophone; Nir Felder: guitar; Leo Genovese: piano; Garth Stevenson: bass; Ziv Ravitz: drums, bells; Sumie Kaneko: koto and shamisen (5).

Title: Face No Face | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Jonji Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties" CD/LP/Track Review The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Midnight Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Midnight Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by John Sharpe
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Organ Monk Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk Blue
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand" CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Apocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017