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Pianist Keith Javors, who is now an assistant professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, recorded this set of his original compositions more than three years ago in Marquette, Michigan, with “deep gratitude and respect to [his] musical heroes: Benny Green, Mulgrew Miller, Herbie Hancock and the late Kenny Kirkland.” Javors, who is clearly a talented musician, has absorbed many of their more adaptable notions and added a few wrinkles of his own to produce a colorful studio session of straight-ahead jazz that leaps and dances with boldness and finesse.
Javors is ably reinforced by bassist Lou Smoltz and drummer Alex Brooks and escorted on all but two selections by alto saxophonist Dane Bays whose nimble phrasings call to mind such other contemporary hard-boppers as Antonio Hart, Kenny Garrett, Vincent Herring and Bobby Watson. Javors, Smoltz and Brooks make it a trio on the fast-paced “Mulgrew Said” and toe-tapping “I’m Not Judas.”
As is true of most albums made up entirely of original songs, there’s nothing here that one is likely to hum afterward. On the other hand, Javors’ compositions are invariably well-framed with enough depth and variation to hold one’s interest, as are his robust improvisations. An admirable studio date by an unknown but accomplished foursome, marred only by its penurious 45:16 playing time.
Contact: www.javors.com; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Track Listing: Zach; Mulgrew Said; Sevens; February
Personnel: Keith Javors, piano; Dane Bays, alto saxophone (except 2, 6); Lou Smoltz, bass;
Alex Brooks, drums.
I love jazz because it’s what sounds
I was first exposed to jazz in my
parents household and in school
I appreciate many styles of jazz
and shy away from really outside
stuff. I enjoy relating to the
One of the best shows I ever
attended was 1975 Chick Corea’s
Return To Forever tour at an
intimate venue in downtown
The first jazz record I bought was
Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon.
My advice to new listeners is try
several styles before you decide
what jazz is all about!
Listen to music daily and stay open