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Scott Lee is a bassist who sports a persuasive compositional pen. An educator, session ace, and solo artist, Lee and his constituents impart a highly-rhythmic slant on the progressive-jazz vernacular amid a few intermittent nods to the avant-garde spectrum throughout Leaving. His quartet instills a rite of passage, chocked full of nifty theme-building exercises, intriguing harmonic propositions and the swing element.
The redeeming values of "Two Ways" are symmetrically balanced in a heady, odd-metered take on jazz-funk. With snappy choruses by pianist Gary Versace and saxophonist Billy Drewes, this piece imparts an amiable storyline.
The quartet underscores the overall vibe with chutzpah and warmth via drifting movements and complex funk metrics. But the soloists' up the ante a few notches, then quietly tear down the primary motif for the finale. Here, Lee and drummer Jeff Hirshfield man the pulse with a resourceful line of attack, where subtle dynamics and slippery off-beats are keenly injected to the various flows.
Personnel: Scott Lee: bass; Billy Drewes: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet; Gary Versace: piano; Jeff Hirshfield: drums.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.