All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

177

Jamie Stewardson: Jhaptal

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
A Berklee and New England Conservatory graduate, guitarist Jamie Stewardson spent time gigging with jazz legends George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre and Mat Maneri after paying his dues backing up pop and soul acts on cruise ships. With a stellar backing band and a solid release to his name, Stewardson's days supporting road weary Motown acts should be a thing of the past. Jhaptal is Stewardson's second album as a leader.

Knitting Ornette Coleman's harmolodic theory, Arnold Schoenberg's dodecaphonics and Indian ragas into post bop structures might seem lofty and pretentious, but in Stewardson's hands these sources never overshadow his lyrically resonant written structures, instead augmenting them. By rearranging tone rows and dragging out melodic lines to unusual metric lengths, he uses advanced compositional techniques to create a subtly unconventional but accessible sound. Firmly rooted in post bop harmony and odd-metered rhythms, Stewardson and company add an inventive twist to an often staid genre.

As a soloist, Stewardson favors a bright, slightly overdriven, but undistorted electric guitar tone, with an economy in his phrasing that belies his virtuosity. Joining him on the front line is pervasive Downtown tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, who plays with surprising restraint. Capable of torrid frenzy and multiphonic hysteria, Malaby plays it cool, illuminating the written material at hand. At times he blends so seamlessly with Stewardson during unison passages that they sound like one instrument. Vibraphonist Alexi Tsiganov contributes shimmering comping and ebullient solos, enriching the entire session with his lilting phrasing. Ubiquitous bassist John Hebert and stalwart drummer George Schuller lock tight into the odd-metered grooves, playing with restraint and simmering energy.

Focusing on mid-tempo rhythms with epic-length melodic phrases, Stewardson's compositions lend themselves to extended development. Varying their attack with subtle coloration and vacillating dynamics, the musicians bring as much heart-felt dedication to introspective balladry as they do punchy verve to harmolodic funk.

On this promising effort, Stewardson demonstrates the kind of creative potential that so few seem capable of in mainstream jazz.


Track Listing: T Can Shuffle; Bubbles; Jhaptal; Combinatoriality; Rest Area; Olive Oil; Cruel Traps; Dig Muse; For Dale and Roberta.

Personnel: Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Alexei Tsiganov: vibraphone; Jamie Stewardson: guitar; John Hebert: bass; George Schuller: drums.

Title: Jhaptal | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Jhaptal

Jhaptal

Fresh Sound New Talent
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read World Domination Vol 1: Furie CD/LP/Track Review
World Domination Vol 1: Furie
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review
20
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Frank Salis CD/LP/Track Review
Frank Salis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Live! CD/LP/Track Review
Live!
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 19, 2018
Read My Favorite Things(1960-1969) CD/LP/Track Review
My Favorite Things(1960-1969)
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 19, 2018
Read The Acadian Orogeny CD/LP/Track Review
The Acadian Orogeny
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "Happy Juice" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Juice
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Kinship" CD/LP/Track Review Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "The Late Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Late Set
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Currents, Constellations" CD/LP/Track Review Currents, Constellations
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2018
Read "The Conscience" CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017