Recognized for his work as the bassist with The Mahavishnu Project and numerous session-based projects, bassist Stephan Crump is a solo artist who tends to examine various jazz-related perimeters. This trio setting with guitarists Liberty Ellman (acoustic) and Jamie Fox (electric) communicates a quaint musical vista. Calming, and probing with surprising depth, Crump's acoustic bass work acts as an axis for multi-textural pieces that spur thought-provoking dreamscapes. The trio merges subtle little pleasantries with toned-down chops and intricately engineered thematic passages, without any overly saccharine implications. Drawing from a multitude of influences, Crump generates a deeply-personal musical statement that transcends rigid interpretations of jazz.
Texas-based trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez aligns himself with his Portuguese counterparts for the latest installment of this quartet's lofty sound and refreshing mode of attack. Saxophonist Rodrigo Amado and Gonzalez frequently engage in open-air type dialogues, as the rhythm section maintains a pulsating flow. Largely improvised music, the soloists inject appealing melodic motifs via communicative group involvement amid a burgeoning flurry of ideas. Subtle shades of Ornette Coleman's harmolodic theories emerge and disappear, as the band seamlessly delves into semi-free bop stylizations. Overall, the musicians fuse polytonal shadings with concise phrasings, while affording themselves gobs of breathing room for continual efforts at regeneration. More importantly, they sustain a singular identity throughout.
The first jazz record I bought was Bill Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard. When I was in high school, I somehow stumbled
across the track My Man's Gone Now and was instantly transfixed. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. So I saved up
(times were hard for a teenager back then) and went out and bought the album.
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