All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

274

Jim Pearce: Never Open with A Ballad

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
It's hard for a jazz musician to garner recognition in an era of music industry indifference toward unknown artists—and the genre as a whole. Musicians like Jim Pearce forge ahead anyway, producing uncompromised, original music. Never Open with a Ballad is a well-conceived showcase for the multi-talented Atlanta-based pianist, vocalist and composer.

Pearce delves into the piano with outstanding technique and a firm modern jazz conception. The beauty of Never Open with a Ballad, however, lies in Pearce's composing. Covering an impressive array of grooves, his tunes combine hip changes, strong melodies and, refreshingly, a sense of humor. From the progressive nature of the brooding "Not This Not That, the slippery 3/4 bounce of "Spectacular Orange Array, the lively propulsion of "Cleebo's Samba and the bebop twists of "Debbie Marie, Pearce presents well-developed themes that swing hard. "Clouded Canyon, the closing track, stands out as the least swinging of all, yet is a beautiful, contemplative solo piano performance.

Pearce is more than willing to let the members of his ensemble, especially trumpeter Joe Gransden and saxophonist Eric South, take center stage throughout the session. Gransden patiently manipulates the middle range on "Barely Touching, a harmonically clustered ballad with an overtly lush melody, and displays well conceived bebop lines on "Cleebo's Samba. South has a smooth tone with just the right amount of aggression to match the eclectic nature of Pearce's music. His gutsy tenor breathes life into the title track, and his solo excursions on "More and More and More and "Left Coast are swinging and inventive. Bassist Herman Burney and drummer Paul Fallat shift stylistic gears effortlessly and provide a rock solid foundation.

Never Open with a Ballad is a delightful collection of modern jazz performed by an outstanding collective of sympathetic musicians who are truly deserving of wider recognition. Pearce proves himself a highly adept leader who approaches every aspect of his music with vision and integrity.


Track Listing: Never Open with a Ballad; Spectacular Orange Array; The Things I

Personnel: Jim Pearce: piano, vocals (3, 5, 7, 10); Herman Burney: bass; Paul Fallat: drums; Eric South: saxophones, flute; Joe Gransden: trumpet; Rafael Pereira: percussion (4, 6).

Title: Never Open with A Ballad | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Debbie's Blue Bicycle

Debbie's Blue Bicycle

Jim Pearce
Washington Square Park

There's Just Something 'Bout You

There's Just Something 'Bout You

Jim Pearce
Prairie Dog Ballet

Spectacular Orange Array

Spectacular Orange Array

Jim Pearce
Never Open with A Ballad

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
You Are An Edgy Visionary Seer

You Are An Edgy...

Oak Avenue Publishing
2013

buy
Never Open with A Ballad

Never Open with A...

Self Produced
2007

buy
Thirty Year Waltz

Thirty Year Waltz

Self Produced
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Uplift The People CD/LP/Track Review
Uplift The People
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read A New Shade Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review
A New Shade Of Blue
by Chris May
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Rabbits on the Run CD/LP/Track Review
Rabbits on the Run
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Imaginary Numbers CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Numbers
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "Nahnou Houm" CD/LP/Track Review Nahnou Houm
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "Walk The Walk" CD/LP/Track Review Walk The Walk
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Beloved" CD/LP/Track Review Beloved
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Falando Docemente" CD/LP/Track Review Falando Docemente
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "For Gyumri" CD/LP/Track Review For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "Of Abstract Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Of Abstract Dreams
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 29, 2018