120

Chris Ho: Picasso Blue

By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist and electronic instrument wizard {$Chris Ho} has gathered his regular band, with one exception, into the studio for their 3rd release for Merrimack Records. The one exception is that regular drummer David Renick is spelled on several tracks by a bevy of different percussionists. Another outsider, Karen Briggs, has been added to the mix. The violinist makes an appearance on one track, the aptly named "Women in Art". All but one of the compositions on the album are by Ho and they pretty much cling to the contemporary jazz party line, although there is considerably more substance, innovation and rhythmic variety than one hears from this genre. To a certain extent the music follows the theme of the album, Pablo Picasso's blue period. Shortly after moving to Paris, Picasso began to produce works that were saturated with blue conveying a somber tone. The Blue Period work is quite sentimental probably due to the fact that Picasso was living away from home for the first time and in very poor conditions. There is a touch of this condition in the desperate "Primal Call" with Ho's moody synthesizer mixing it up with Renick's drum which gets more of a workout on this track than usually heard with smooth jazz. In not so sharp a contrast, "Afterthought" is a bit more buoyant helping to prevent the listener, and perhaps the musicians, from falling into a deep funk. This album verifies the incredible talent and musical intuition of saxophonist Wayne Wayne. He runs the table on highly charged melodic inventive ideas on both tenor and alto. It's instructive that he eschews one of the key instruments of smooth jazz, the soprano sax. One of the premier tracks is the title tune, a medium tempo, close to straight jazz presentation, again with Wayne laying down some nice lines and Ho showing his mastery at the regular piano. Perhaps Ho with this album is moving away from the contemporary style and getting closer to the music's roots. We'll see which direction his next album takes. In the meantime, take a fling with this one.

Track Listing: Bliss; Picasso Blue; Women in Art*; 28; Arirang; Afterthought; Nuance; Primal; Call; Glass Is Half Full Blues

Personnel: Chris Ho - Piano/Lead and String Synthesizer; Wayne Wayne - Alto & Tenor Sax/Flute; John Balbuena - Keys/Synth Vibes/Organ/Fender Rhodes; Matt Van Benschoten- Bass; David Renick, Gary Q. Wing, Dan Potruch, Ralph Penland, Tony Lewis - Drums; Karen Briggs - Violin*

| Record Label: Merrimack | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Father Figure" CD/LP/Track Review Father Figure
by David A. Orthmann
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "I Can Do All Things" CD/LP/Track Review I Can Do All Things
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "3's a Crowd" CD/LP/Track Review 3's a Crowd
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 30, 2017

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!