194

Bill Stewart: Incandescence

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Stewart: Incandescence Best known for his work with guitarist John Scofield, drummer Bill Stewart has avoided the straight and narrow in favor of a more exploratory path. Although Stewart's output as a leader has been limited by his various sideman duties, his solo work is consistently inventive, combining idiosyncratic writing with agreeable rhythms.

A tasteful stylist who favors melodious polyrhythms and colorful accents over pyrotechnics, Stewart has been recruited by a number of high profile artists. In addition to Scofield, he has regularly collaborated with Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Pat Martino, Pat Metheny and Maceo Parker, among others.

Stewart's previous effort, the self-released Keynote Speakers (2006), featured a unique trio of drums, piano and organ. Incandescence is the logical follow up, reuniting Stewart with longstanding colleagues, pianist Kevin Hays and organist Larry Goldings on nine of Stewart's original tunes.

A Hammond organ specialist, Larry Goldings has graced a variety of scenes; veering from Maceo Parker's deep funk and post-bop with John Scofield to free-form explorations alongside Matt Wilson. Kevin Hays has recorded for Blue Note and Steeplechase and accompanied an array of talent, from Joshua Redman to Joe Henderson.

This unusual line-up works a subtle variation on the organ trio tradition, updating vintage mid-sixties Blue Note soul jazz with modern harmonic progressions, oblique meters and shifting dynamics on "Toad" and "Tell A Televangelist." Simmering with laid back swing and mellow lyricism, "Knock On My Door" saunters with an uplifting groove that would make Scofield proud.

Arriving from different angles, "Portals Opening" and "Opening Portals" provide an effervescent chiaroscuro. The former gracefully ascends with ethereal organ washes and repeated piano refrains as Stewart unfurls energetic waves of percussive color. The later swings with a vengeance, careening with angular, off-kilter cadences that recall Tony Williams' Lifetime.

Revealing an impressionistic side, the moody title track glimmers with serene ambiance while the pensive ballad "See Ya" presents subtle Old World tonalities when Goldings switches to accordion. Scintillating cymbal splashes and haunting percussive strokes paint a miniature tone poem on "Metallurgy" while "Four Hand Job" blurs the boundary lines between freedom and form, revealing energetic soliloquies buttressed by a thorny head melody.

With compositional clarity and improvisational finesse, the trio transcends its novel instrumentation on Incandescence, providing a viable alternative to a classic tradition.


Track Listing: Knock On My Door; Toad; Portals Opening; Opening Portals; See Ya; Four Hand Job; Tell A Televangelist; Metallurgy; Incandescence.

Personnel: Bill Stewart: drums; Larry Goldings: Hammond organ, accordion; Kevin hays: piano.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Pirouet Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Kjølvatn" CD/LP/Track Review Kjølvatn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Equal Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Equal Crossing
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Jungle: Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Jungle: Live At Okuden
by John Sharpe
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Inner Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Circle
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Until Your Throat Is Dry" CD/LP/Track Review Until Your Throat Is Dry
by John Sharpe
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Koan" CD/LP/Track Review Koan
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!