89

Chris Keller: Love Is the Answer

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Keller has a message to deliver but doesn’t let it get in the way of the music on this light–hearted quartet session that glides smoothly along without causing a fuss or ruffling any feathers. That’s not to say it is without interest; Keller is an accomplished player, as are the others in her group — but for the most part they are more efficient than inspired. As the description applies as well to most others playing today, one shouldn’t read into it more than is intended. Keller plays nice straight–ahead piano and receives sturdy support from bassist Donnie West and drummer Ricky Loza. Alto Steve Swan is her sidekick on six numbers, tenor Whit Williams on six others, and both are present and accounted for on Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?” I don’t know who Swan’s role models are but two of them had to be Bud Shank and Art Pepper, while Whitman is from the Hank Mobley / Lucky Thompson school of hard bop. Swan has more room to stretch, as Whitman backs Keller on the album’s half–dozen vocal tracks and solos only briefly on most of them. Keller’s mid–range voice is clear but not as reliable as one would wish. In other words, she’s not always precisely on–key, a flaw that is magnified by her decision to sing mostly ballads (“The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Here’s to Life,” “Nature Boy” and so on). She also sings Miles Davis’ “Four,” whose lyric (our opinion, of course) isn’t nearly as charming as its melody. Keller’s message, alluded to above, is one of love and unity, admirable sentiments the result of whose consummation on this earth is splendidly articulated in the closing number, “What a Wonderful World.” The world, as we well know, isn’t always such a wonderful place, but music makes it more bearable, and one may reasonably argue that Keller and her associates are doing what they can to advance the cause of brotherhood and understanding among the peoples of the world. Needless to say, the more who are enlisted under that banner the better off everyone will be.

Contact:Chris Keller, 3802 Lexington Drive, Apt. D–2, Raleigh, NC 27606. Phone 919–833–1761.


Track Listing: Stuff Like That; Song for My Father; What Is This Thing Called Love?; A Time for Love; There Is No Greater Love; The Shadow of Your Smile; Smile; Triste; Here

Personnel: Chris Keller, piano, vocals; Steve Swan, alto sax; Whit Williams, tenor sax; Donnie West, bass; Ricky Loza, drums, percussion.

| Record Label: Aurora Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Revelation" CD/LP/Track Review Revelation
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Inner Agent" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Agent
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "Suite Três Rios" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Três Rios
by Paul Naser
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!