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Matt Renzi/Masa Kamaguchi/Jimmy Weinstein: Lines And Ballads

Jim Santella By

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With each member of the trio fulfilling an equal role, Renzi, Kamaguchi and Weinstein have put together a session of exciting modern mainstream jazz that’s both creative and lyrical. With nods to several of the original builders of this idiom - Max Roach, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk – the trio comes out quite fresh and unique. Jimmy Weinstein, who studied with Max Roach at the University of Massachusetts, performs his own tribute, "Dear Max," as an unaccompanied drum solo. Masatoshi Kamaguchi, a native of Japan and a one-time engineering student at Tokyo’s Hosei University, performs lyrical acoustic bass solo features on every track. Saxophonist Matt Renzi can’t help it; he’s got woodwind expertise in his blood. Renzi’s father is principal flautist for the San Francisco Symphony, while his grandfather was principal oboist with Toscanini’s NBC Symphony Orchestra. The tie that binds these three trio members together is their educational experience, studying jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

The traditional roles for bass and drums are ignored as each trio member plays an equal part. While drummer shimmers and taps creatively throughout, bassist and saxophonist interweave melodic lines. On the classic bebop tune "Au-Leu-Cha," Renzi has Charlie Parker’s role while bassist Kamaguchi assumes Miles Davis’ trumpet (musical) character. Highly recommended, Lines And Ballads combines a traditional mainstream format with a modern three-way creative approach.


Title: Lines And Ballads | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Meniscus

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