140

Steven Kirby: North Light

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Steven Kirby: North Light Boston-based, Berklee-bred guitarist Steven Kirby decided to branch out on North Light, the follow-up to his '98 offering, Point of Balance. The earlier CD was a solidly cohesive affair; but on his second outing, he mixes things up a bit, using four different recording units to complete the CD.

This approach can be a potential minefield. The utilization of different bands can create a loss of cohesiveness—an all important component of any music CD. Guitarist Kirby solves this probem with the continuity of his compositions—eight Michael Brecker-inspired, Pat Metheny tinctured post-bop jewels.

The set opens with what might be the highlight (but there's a lot of competition for that slot here): the crisp, jaunty swinger, "Line Game," which features the "highest profile" line-up on the disc: Chris Potter on sax; Bruce Barth, piano; Scott Colley, bass; and Matt Wilson, drums. These guys have high profiles—and fantastic recent releases in the cases of Wilson and Potter—for a reason. Talent. "Line Game" is a tight, in-the-groove sizzle; with pianist Barth doing a counterpoint, an almost Cecil Taylor free flung approach, a juxtaposition that glues the song together. And speaking of glue, check out Mark Shilansky's organ work on the funky "Ambiguity Tolerance". He, more than most organists, seems to bite his notes off, creating less of an aural wash, a more pungent backing that gives a nice sting to the sound, while leader Kirby puts a little grint into his normally free flowing lines, and some very sharp, tricky sax/guitar unison work. And "Paradigm Shift" evokes memories of Chick Corea's Electric Band of the late'80s/early '90s, full of spark and energy and forward momentum.

An exciting set of sounds, a mixing a styles held together by Steven Kirby's fluid guitar work and focused, forward-thinking musical vision.

www.stevenkirby.com


Track Listing: Line Game, New Song, Autumn Song, North Light, Refractions, Things As They Are, Paradigm Shift, Ambiguity Tolerance, Five For All, When You wish Upon A Star.

Personnel: Steven Kirby, guitar; Chris Potter, Bill Vint, saxes; Bruce Barth, Mark Shilansky, Laszlo Gardoni, keyboards; Scott Colley, Keela Kaumeheiwa, Jeffrey Wilfong, bass; Matt Wilson, Mark Connors, drums; Tony D'Aveny, trumpet and flugelhorn

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: a/l/l | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "The LA EP" CD/LP/Track Review The LA EP
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 27, 2016
Read "Ghosts Appearing Through The Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Ghosts Appearing Through The Sound
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Acoustically Speaking" CD/LP/Track Review Acoustically Speaking
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Work" CD/LP/Track Review Work
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 13, 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!