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Album Review

Sam Kirmayer: In This Moment


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Sam Kirmayer: In This Moment
Montreal-based guitarist Sam Kirmayer leads a well-modulated sextet on In This Moment, wherein all ten of the album's numbers were written by Kirmayer. That is both a strength and a weakness. On one hand, Kirmayer's themes are, for the most part, light, sunny and squarely in the jazz tradition; on the other, none of them is likely to enter the standard canon. They are more pleasant than memorable, which evidently suits his purpose.

The ensemble, however, gives each of them its best shot and that, coupled with Kirmayer's sharp sense of swing and impeccable phrasing, is enough to raise the studio date well above the ordinary. Kirmayer shares the front line with veteran tenor saxophonist Al McLean, a strong soloist, and trombonist Abdul Al-Khabyyr, rather less so but never less than dependable. The congenial rhythm section is led by pianist Sean Fyfe (also an astute phrase-maker) and anchored by bassist Alec Walkington and drummer André White.

As for the music, as noted, it is well above average albeit somewhat south of remarkable. A standard or two would have been welcome. As there are none, it should be noted that Kirmayer has written a number of handsome songs, especially the groovers—"Cross Purpose," "Sleight of Hand," "Afterthought," "In This Moment," "Lost in the City." There are two ballads, "The New Same Old" and "Quixote," on which Walkington is given room to walk, and shows he can do so quite well without losing his balance; White uses brushes to good effect behind his splendid bass solo, which precedes eloquent statements by Fyfe and Kirmayer.

In sum, a splendid session that may not set any pulses racing but comprises more than an hour of light-hearted and pleasurable music. Kirmayer's second album as leader plants another feather in his impressive cap.

Track Listing

The Turnout; Cross Purpose; Sleight Of Hand; Blues For Proskurov; Afterthought; The New Same Old; In This Moment; Lost In The City; Quixote; Soliloquy.


Sam Kirmayer: guitar; Al McLean: saxophone, tenor; Sean Fyfe: piano; Alec Walkington: bass; Muhammad Abdul Al-Khbyyr: trombone.

Additional Instrumentation

Andre White: drums.

Album information

Title: In This Moment | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Cellar Live

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