All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

194

Bill Stewart: Incandescence

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
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: Larry Goldings: Hammond Organ, accordion; Kevin Hays: piano; Bill Stewart: drums.

Title: Incandescence | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Pirouet Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Space Squid

Space Squid

Pirouet Records
2016

buy
Incandescence

Incandescence

Pirouet Records
2008

buy
Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Self Produced
2005

buy
 

Telephaty

Birdology
1997

buy
 

Telepathy

Blue Note Records
1997

buy
 

Snide Remarks

Birdology
1995

buy

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Parrots Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Parrots Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Meeting of Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Meeting of Minds
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 26, 2018
Read "Undertones" CD/LP/Track Review Undertones
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Avant-Garde Party Music" CD/LP/Track Review Avant-Garde Party Music
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "Reach Further" CD/LP/Track Review Reach Further
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 5, 2018