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Bobby Few has had an impressive career as a pianist. Though he studied classical music, he weaned himself from that when he first heard jazz. His playing now rides several styles that open in a swell of harmonic inventions and rich chord structures. His ability has seen him in the comfort zone with Steve Lacy, Archie Shepp, Alan Silva, Noah Howard and, more recently, Avram Fefer.
Few goes solo here with six of his own compositions and one from Lacy. The writing gives him the base to investigate the mood and then take off on his own urge. He does this with quite splendid perception, constantly finding something new to dwell on and develop. He continues to be a positive force.
Few is in full flow on "Lights and Shadows. The light comes in the full flow of notes, the dynamics impelled forward. His is a gush that washes across fertile plains to be harvested into the new. He does not sacrifice harmony; his chords can thunder and emphasize, key to the pulse he sets. Having indulged his muse for sparkle and snap, he pulls in the pulse, invests a melody, before engaging in a constant shift of tide and tempo.
Enomis, written for his wife, is soaked in a graceful melody. Few lets the melody cast its spell, playing with careful deliberation, letting the music breathe in the spaces he opens. And when he gives in to the joy of the moment, he expresses it in a softly unfurled lilt of notes.
Few's artistry is made manifest in the diversity of his approach. He gives the listener much to savor and appreciate.
Track Listing: Bells; Flakes; From Different Lands; Enomis; Lights and Shadows; What You Doing?; Dreams.
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.