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Best known for his stint with jazz fusion group Spyro Gyra, guitarist Jay Azzolina has recently taken a welcome tangent into the jazz mainstream, with last year's overlooked Past Tense a crisp, snappy jazz workout featuring Chris Potter's fiery tenor sax and John Patitucci on bassand now fronting a B-3 organ (Gary Versace) and drums(Adam Nussbaum) on Live at One Station Plaza
This set has a very different feel to it than the previous CD, with the cool breeze of the B-3 blowing washes of sound behind Azzolina's sharp, clean lines. The setall Azzolina originalsis energized by the improvisational openess afforded by the backing organ taking over the bass chores. The CD opens with an up-tempo blues, "It's All About You", closes with a jaunty, driving cooker with "It's All About Me", gets thoughtful, poignant with "Irene", and tips a hat to Coltrane in the middle with "So Steps the Giant"
Azzolina has spent his time of late close to home for sake of family, teaching and working on his technique and writing, a mode that's obvious paid off.
And the sound: This is a live recording, but you'll have to listen closely to tell. The sound is clean and sharp with the after-song crowd applause set low in the mix; the band is tight, in a loose, flowing sort of way, the performance seamless.
Track Listing: It's All About You, Viracocha, Irene, So Steps the Giant, Her First Waltz, Peace of Jack, It's All About Me
Personnel: Jay Azzolina, Guitar; Gary Versace, B-3 organ; Adam Nussbaum, drums
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.