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From the time the first notes ring out on In Between, Geoff Young makes manifest his cogent sense of space and time. This attribute stands him well as he creates dazzling sonic portraits playing acoustic guitar, his fingers the messengers of his eloquence. Helping him colour the canvas of his imagination are bassist Jim Vivian and drummer Barry Romberg.
Young wrote all the songs except for "What a Wonderful World," which is not given a saccharine reading, not by any means. Young pushes the tune with gradual melodic shifts, dispersing the initial gentility with notes that cut and emphasize the progression.
As a composer, Young has a broad outlook. He does not overly rely on melody, and a couple of compositions dissipate the melodic line and go into the fertile arena of improvisation. Shape waxes and wanes and is made whole again. If Young serves up the wider discourse, Romberg is up front as well with his splashes, rim shots, and quick, flittering accents. Vivian is generally unobtrusive, but he drives the rhythm on "Drinking Songs," a cogent exposition of the art of the bass. The mood shifts from flightiness to introspection to heady outpouring. If there is one certainty about this tune, it lies in not knowing the direction it is headed.
"Tea at High Noon" is a Spanish fiesta. Vivian gives his arco an opulent sway; Romberg adds the percussion and then goes on to enrich the beat with a remarkable array of patterns. Young enriches the melody with delicately carved filigrees and, as is his wont, essays some vigorous structures. Point and counterpoint are both used well to make this song one of the highlights of a flaming good debut.
Track Listing: What a Wonderful World; Drinking Songs; Chance Meeting; Tea at High Noon; In Between; The Three Lauras; So Long
Personnel: Geoff Young?"guitars; Jim Vivian?"bass; Barry Romberg?"drums
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.