177

Jay Azzolina: Past Tense

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Known for his pop-fusion work with Spyro Gyra, Michael Franks, and others, guitarist Jay Azzolina steps into the straight-ahead jazz arena with this record. The lineup is heavy: Chris Potter on sax, Charles Blenzig on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Adam Nussbaum on drums. Fleet-fingered lines and burning swing abound on "Ben Hur, Ben Him" and "Rhythms Change." Darker, more delicate sounds emerge from "The Totem" and "Black Waltz." "Inside Pies Eyes" and "Marvelous Marvin" recall the pared-down trio music of John Scofield’s Shinola and Out Like a Light, while "Lil’ Red" recalls the piano/guitar duels of Scofield’s Rough House. Indeed, Azzolina’s writing and edgy guitar sound owe much — perhaps a little too much — to Scofield. At times his style is derivative, his tone a bit thin and nasal.

Also on the down side, Azzolina closes the album with a hopelessly cheesy version of Kurt Weill’s "My Ship," featuring his wife Jill Azzolina on vocals. It’s the final uneven moment of this somewhat uneven album. However, Azzolina’s prowess as a player is not in doubt, and his alliances with musicians like Potter and Patitucci promise better things to come.

Tracks: 1. Ben Hur, Ben Him 2. Inside Pie’s Eyes 3. Black Waltz 4. Lil’ Red 5. The Totem 6. Rhythms Change 7. Marvelous Marvin 8. My Ship

Personnel:

Jay Azzolina, guitar; Chris Potter, tenor sax; John Patitucci, bass; Charles Blenzig, piano; Adam Nussbaum, drums

| Record Label: Double-Time Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Landing CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Words And Music CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Faces CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Glare of the Tiger" CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41" CD/LP/Track Review Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Woodclock" CD/LP/Track Review Woodclock
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Subtle Energy" CD/LP/Track Review Subtle Energy
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 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!