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James Carney's piano style fits his compositional approach: percussive, eccentric, unpredictable, concise. After his theme statement he'll parse his way through a piece one segment at a time, working on that segment until he's ready to move on. Choruses are of indefinite length. The trio is very much of a group concept in touch with the intricacies of his pieces. They participate equally in a piece's evolution during a performance. Although his writing is at a high level Carney's piano playing is limited in scope. His music would sound more complete with at least one saxophone. A horn ensemble would probably bring out all kinds of possibilities, but I'd guess his music can't be effectively sight readthe ensemble thing (with its rehearsal time) would probably have to be underwritten. Brief comments on the tunes: "Brassy Shoal Hoe-down"country meets Monk; "Zelzah"modal, slow loping tempo picks up later on; "In Lieu of Cross Roads" Sickafoose featured; "Weird Vernacular"free section, mostly group interaction, percussive feel; "Pearblossom Heights,"stark, reminiscent of Charlie Haden's "Silence"; "Louisiana Rocco"over a complicated ostinato; "Swamp Rookie"modern boogie woogie. James Carney - piano; Todd Sickafoose - bass; Dan Morris -drums.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.