274

Jim Pearce: Never Open with A Ballad

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Pearce: Never Open with A Ballad 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 Ive Seen; Cleebos Samba; Debbie Marie; Barely Touching; More and More and More; Left Coast; Not This Not That; This Daily Mystery; Clouded Canyon.

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).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Omío" CD/LP/Track Review Omío
by James Nadal
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "More Than Meets The Ear" CD/LP/Track Review More Than Meets The Ear
by Troy Collins
Published: February 25, 2016
Read "Outside In" CD/LP/Track Review Outside In
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "The Ludwigsburg Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Ludwigsburg Concert
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 10, 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!