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Everywhere Band: Music Is...

Dan Bilawsky By

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Track review of "In Light There Is Song"

Everywhere Band: Music Is... Everywhere Band has a bit of an identity crisis on this three-song EP. Multi-reedist/composer/leader Joshua Kwassman takes the band through reworkings of two semi-modern pop hits—John Mayer's "Clarity" and Dave Matthews' "Satellite"— with mixed results, painting an uneven picture of what this band can do. Sometimes this music cooks under the flame of guitarist Michael Valeanu's Allman Brothers Band-like guitar solos, but other moments present a meandering musical ensemble that lacks a strong directional intent. This turns out to be a real shame, because the lone original track nestled in between those performances is a brilliant display of sonic splendor that deserves to be heard by the masses.

"In Light There Is Song" is a compositional marvel that lives in the realm of Maria Schneider's work, albeit on a smaller scale. Clanging chimes in the breeze give way to optimistic piano work from Fabian Ortiz. The layers eventually start to stack up as Kwassman enters, followed by Arielle Feinman's soaring, wordless vocals, which shine in a Kate McGarry-meets-Gretchen Parlato manner. Shimmering cymbals dangle over shiny glockenspiel sounds, adding to the heavenly mix and the entire band, eventually, dovetails with one another, as piano, guitar—now in a Ben Monder-like mode— glockenspiel, clarinet and bass enjoy each others' company. As the music evolves over the course of eleven-and-a-half minutes, Kwassman presents a gorgeous, kaleidoscopic picture of resplendent sounds that mark him as a compositional force on the rise.

Personnel: Joshua Kwassman: woodwinds; Arielle Feinman: vocals, glockenspiel; Michael Valeanu: guitar; Fabian Ortiz: piano; Nick Jozwiak: bass; James Muschler: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


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