177

Jamie Stewardson: Jhaptal

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Jamie Stewardson: Jhaptal 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: Jamie Stewardson: guitar; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Alexei Tsiganov: vibraphone; John Hebert: bass; George Schuller: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Burning Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Burning Ghosts
by Troy Collins
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "IIII+IIII" CD/LP/Track Review IIII+IIII
by James Nadal
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Troy Collins
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Silk & Steel" CD/LP/Track Review Silk & Steel
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Tribute to Andrezej Przybielski Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Andrezej Przybielski Vol. 1
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.