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...

168

Charlie Jennison Quartet: Iridescence

By

Sign in to view read count
Charlie Jennison's debut album for Maine's Invisible Music Records is a smooth piece of work. "Smooth" not in the sense of the saccharine stuff served up by contemporary jazz players, but smooth as in classy unpretentiousness in the playing. Jennison is an alumnus of the Do'ah Wild Music Ensemble, a New Hampshire group which recorded for Global Pacific label. He has since gravitated to jazz having recorded with singers Kathleen Kolman and Leila Percy, among others. Jennison has also worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and Buddy DeFranco and is on the faculty of New Hampshire's Phillips Exeter Academy. Forsaking standard material for his first album, the play list is made up of ten Jennison originals all in various tempi and style, but which start getting repetitious along the way as ideas get thin. Some of the better pieces include "To You, From Me" which features Jennison on alto with some exciting drum breaks by Ken Clark. Another piece spotlighting Jennison's alto, which sounds like Phil Woods when Woods is in a mellow mood, is the lovely ballad "Georgie," with "My Anne" rivaling "Georgie" for sheer musical attractiveness. The tenor takes over on "Watch Your Step" with Jennison showing some incredible dexterity with daring fingering technique. There's a nice blues with a funky piano solo by Jim Butka and good bass strumming from John Hunter on "Amanda's Blues." Jennison brings out his soprano on "Rain in My Coffee" which has a light Latin beat with more good piano from Jim Butka.

But virtually all tunes on this session take the same course. There's an introduction establishing the basic melody structure, followed by some technically compelling fingering after which there's a return to the melody. No matter how good the instrumentalist is —and Jennison is very good—unless the original material is superior, it's not going to hold one's attention for a whole sitting. And that is the case here. I have heard Jennison on other albums and he handles standard stuff very well. It would have behooved him to have put a couple of those on this CD. This would have strengthened the credibility of the original material.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Iridescence

Iridescence

Invisible Music Records
2000

buy

Related Articles

Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically CD/LP/Track Review
Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones...
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Legacy CD/LP/Track Review
Legacy
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Other Life Forms CD/LP/Track Review
Other Life Forms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Live At Moods CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Moods
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "I Ching" CD/LP/Track Review I Ching
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 15, 2018
Read "Modern Lore" CD/LP/Track Review Modern Lore
by Doug Collette
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "The Nook" CD/LP/Track Review The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "Espace Cardin 1977" CD/LP/Track Review Espace Cardin 1977
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 12, 2018
Read "Sorrows & Triumphs" CD/LP/Track Review Sorrows & Triumphs
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Kavuma" CD/LP/Track Review Kavuma
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 12, 2018