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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 anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.