5

Brad Whiteley: Pathless Land

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Brad Whiteley: Pathless Land Pathless Land doesn't live up to its title. The name of this album suggests music that's dense and sonically impassable, but that's the antithesis of what actually awaits; instead of unnavigable constructs, pianist/organist Brad Whiteley delivers music that's easy and enjoyable to traverse.

Whiteley's built his reputation as an accompanist and music director, working with artists as diverse as witty pop songstress Regina Spektor, Broadway singer Jeri Sager, and opera-to-cabaret cross-over vocalist Sylvia McNair. On the surface, Pathless Land has little-to-nothing to do with his skills in that area, but digging a little deeper reveals an important truth: Whiteley's ability to hone in on an idea and trim away excess, which was likely developed and sharpened while working with vocalists, guides and informs this work.

Much of what you'd expect on a small group organ-and-piano album is here. Shuffling scenarios ("Winsome Excursion"), reflective music ("Erika's Song"), funky fare ("Bass Instincts"), a tweaked version of a classic ("Come Rain Or Come Shine"), and straight eighth groove numbers ("Nostalgiastic") all share living space. Some of this material is simply about settling into a certain headspace and riding things out, but a few numbers buck that trend, focusing in on empathy and interplay ("Suite: Resolve" and "Pathless Land").

The only number on the program that doesn't measure up is "Suite: Contemplation." Every other piece has been molded into shape, but this number feels half-formed and out of place; it's also the only piece with wordless vocals, further separating itself from the pack.

The music on this album may not line up with the name, but most everything else is expertly balanced and aligned on Pathless Land.


Track Listing: Winsome Excursion; Erika's Song; Bass Instincts; Suite: Contemplation; Come Rain Or Come Shine; No Regrets; Nostalgiastic; Suite: Resolve; Pathless Land; Brooklyn Hustle.

Personnel: Brad Whiteley: piano (2, 4, 6, 8, 9), organ (1, 3, 5, 7, 10); Andrew Lim: guitar (1, 5, 7, 10); Daniel Foose: bass (2, 4, 6, 8, 9); Kenneth Salters: drums; Erika Lloyd: vocals (4).

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

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 Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Once Upon A Time In Portugal" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon A Time In Portugal
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "For The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review For The Unknown
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "The Whistle Blower" CD/LP/Track Review The Whistle Blower
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 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!