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Jazz guitarist Wayne Brasel was born and bred in California, and while currently living in Europewhere he teaches at the University of Stavanger in Norwaythe west coast rhythms that tug his heart strings are alive and well in If You Would Dance, a collection of warm and inviting original compositions of relaxing light jazz. Except for the beautiful acoustic work on the soft and lovely "Oleo De Mujer Con Sombrero," and the finale piece "The Hermit," Brasel prefers the electric guitar as his chosen voice.
"Celebration" stands alone as the highlight of the album, featuring stalwart drummer Peter Erskine providing a charge and pianist Alan Pasqua delivering an energetic solo. The majority of the music, however, remains tethered to calm musical landscape from which the guitarist rarely strays. The tunes "Aberdeen," "If You Would Dance," and "A Heart On Fire" all possess the same sensitive qualities defining the album. The band enters gently on "Elias" as Brasel leads the music with sharp crisp chords that give way to more of Pasqua's handiwork on the keys in a piece that is barely six minutes in duration, though the album track listing mistakenly claims the tune at 9:16 in length.
"Lightgiver" is the opening track and its soft texture sets the stage for the rest of the program while the following "The Oaks of Mamre" takes flight propelled by the guitarist's floating lines gliding on Erskine's splashes and the pianist's firm phrasings. A simple disc of warm and gentle music more appropriate for a slow dance than swing, If You Would Dance is food for the soul served by a master chef, guitarist Wayne Brasel.
Track Listing: Lightgiver; The Oaks of Mamre; If You Would Dance; Celebration; Aberdeen; Oleo De Mujer Con Sombrero; Elias; A Heart On Fire; The Hermit.
Personnel: Wayne Brasel: guitars; Alan Pasqua: piano; Tom Warrington: bass; Peter Erskine: drums; Satnam Ramgotra: percussion.
Year Released: 2010
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Ambient
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.