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!

736

Christian Howes: Heartfelt

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
There is always the fear that producing an authentic jazz album with orchestration is too ambitious a project and is doomed under the heaviness associated with such affairs. And that might have been the case here, except the sum of the parts, i.e., violinist Christian Howes and arrangers Kuno Schmid and Roger Kellaway, is certainly more than the instant concept.



For Howes' debut on Resonance Records, he is teamed with legendary pianist Roger Kellaway, the former music director for Bobby Darin and sideman to Wes Montgomery, Clark Terry and Zoot Sims. The veteran and Howes make, as they say, beautiful music together. The violinist has a chameleon-like character with the ability to play outside and in, swing or fusion, jazz and rock. He has been heard lately in the company of D.D. Jackson, Greg Osby, Bill Evans and Les Paul.



Heartfelt is a batch of romantic and playful music that is satisfying on many levels. The orchestrated tracks utilize just the right touches to compliment the playing. The first two tracks, Russ Freeman's "The Wind" and Ennio Morricone's classic "Cinema Paradiso," are given the lush treatment, yet the pure soaring sound of Howes' string and Kellaway's accompaniment are right up front in the mix. Likewise, the introspective Jimmy Rowles composition "The Peacocks" is lovingly rendered with Kellaway and Howes circling each other with supportive, positive notes.



They take up a swinging version of "Alone Together" in a quartet setting. As drummer Nathan Wood (Kneebody) and veteran bassist Bob Magnusson drive the piece, Howes displays his nimble and agile playing, walking toe-to-toe with Kellaway's bebop piano. They pare things down even more with their duet on Benny Goodman's "Opus Half." The throwback stride piano/violin track vibrates energy just like a Stuff Smith rent party probably sounded. Howes' lushness is replaced with a folksy Americana sound that is hard to resist.



Perhaps a signal of coming attractions is the final track with guest, Swedish guitarist Andreas Oberg. This swinging workout finds Howes playing an Octave Geiger, a cross between a viola and cello. This slightly odd sounding stringed instrument situated against the bop burner emphasizes that Howes swings in just about every setting he's placed.



The balance Heartfelt achieves here between solo, group interplay and orchestration is quite remarkable and leaves a lasting impression.


Track Listing: The Wind; Cinema Paradiso; Alone Together; That's All it Was; Invasion of the Forest; Walkin' Up; The Peacocks; Opus Half; Early Autumn; Bernie's Tune.

Personnel: Christian Howes: violin, viola; Roger Kellaway: piano; Bob Magnusson: bass; Andreas Oberg: guitar; Nathan Wood: drums.

Title: Heartfelt | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Resonance Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Solo a Genoa CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genoa
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Use Your Imagination" CD/LP/Track Review Use Your Imagination
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017