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John Davey - Dean Sharp - Ken McGloin: Open Range

Glenn Astarita By

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Recorded in upstate New York and mastered by iconic experimental guitarist David Torn, the band led by bassist, educator John Davey embraces jazz power trio fare amid Americana, and jazz-folk and navigates through a potpourri of improvisation-based scenarios. However, the musicians sustain an open landscape via a loose but potent mode of operations.

Consisting of works spanning two to five minutes in length, the trio sustains an upbeat demeanor with a diverse mix. "Freakshow" is a piece where guitarist Ken McGloin employs a bit of jazz rock tinted skronk with gangly and distorted lines on the crest of the rhythm section's pulsating beats. He also uses volume control techniques to complement his animated constructions and executes succinct melodies throughout the album. On "Hosni & Mommar Go Fishing," Davey's booming bass notes and drummer Dean Sharp's punchy maneuvers tender a corpulent but fluid presence, for a piece built on simmering themes. But "Tears for Oaxaca" is an acoustic-electric samba featuring guest artist Dean Jones chipping in on trombone, and intensified with subtle abstractions.

Davey winds "Home On The Range" into a pensive ballad, leading to "Open Range," with McGloin's folksy acoustic guitar parts atop a mid-tempo Latin framework, highlighted by an endearing melody and shrouded in an air of optimism that is stylized with linear phrasings and numerous contrasts. And from the power trio spectrum, certain movements with foreboding intimations tend to sneak up on you in systematic fashion. Hence, the musicians enable your imagination to run a little wild on a per-track basis while using depth and capacious acoustics as vantage points.

Track Listing: Trail’s End (short cut); The Squeeze; The Inevitable Blues; Freakshow; Heartland; Hosni & Mommar Go Fishing; Tears For Oaxaca; Better Days; Home On The Range; Open Range; Wayfaring Stranger; Trail’s End (long way home).

Personnel: John Davey: bass; Dean Sharp: drums & percussion; Ken McGloin: guitars; Dean Jones: trombone (7).

Title: Open Range | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Lil' Pumpkin Records

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