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Outside, inside; man, this disc is all over the place. Cellist Turner, probably best known from various fine collaborations with Jeff Song (guitar, kayagum, bass), here is mostly in, with standards pop, jazz, and religious, and with bizarre timing, an original tune called “Ground Zero,” which turns out to be an excellent blues. It’s not mood music, though much is, um, standard. Harmon’s piano comping is solid mainstream and Turner turns in some tasty slurs and off notes.
From “I Fall In Love Too Easily” to the beautiful-bop of “Solar,” all is lovely and often clever, but often I miss fire or depth. As soon as I feel that, the duo throw me off the expected with originals like “Rabid Poultry,” Harmon abstract in a Cecil/Bley way, with Turner scratching, skyrocketing and moaning. Ornette’s tune “Roundtrip” finds Harmon chording on an organlike keyboard, with Turner truly taking off, a fabulous track, while the proceeding “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me” again uses organ and a heavenly screechy cello grind.
The label is new to me. The packaging is not misleading, a delightfully early-60s bluegreen abstract photo, and the Stellar! label in a Jetsons space age curly script font. Is this the same Janet Planet formerly associated with Van Morrison?
Track Listing: 1. I Fall In Love Too Easily; 2. Solar; 3. Rabid Poultry; 4. Mourning; 5. Roundtrip; 6. Darn That Dream; 7. I Want Jesus to Walk With Me; 8. Beautiful Love; 9. Forbidden Forest; 10. Ground Zero; 11. Blue In Green
Personnel: Matt Turner, cello; John Harmon, piano, keyboards
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.