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Album Review

Alex Sjobeck: Pictures in Time

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Alex Sjobeck: Pictures in Time
In the esteemed lineage of Bill Evans and Eddie Gomez, Hank Jones and Charlie Haden, Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, pianist Alex Sjobeck and bassist David Baker bring to the fore Pictures In Time, a warm, richly defined nine song collection of emotive and meditative vignettes, each one more rewarding than the last. But taken as whole, Pictures In Time offers a lasting glimpse of a duo deeply connected to the music they make and the format whose tradition they uphold.

Currently an adjunct at Boise State University, Sjobeck has an intimate touch and classical disposition on her instrument that is striking in its intricate and expressive clarity. Baker, an active member of the Utah jazz community and currently Assistant Professor of Jazz and Commercial Music at Utah Valley University, compliments the duo with a bluesy, post bop drive and a finely sanded, varnished tone.

Ekphrastic in scope, the beautiful music begins with "Answer Song," an elegant mission statement wherein two voices willingly unify, laying the groundwork for the sincere collaboration ahead. Borrowing from the kick and offbeats of Jewish folk dance, "Aravah"at first leans towards the dark and more foreboding before sweeping into a joyful whirl. With grand, orchestral gestures, Sjobeck gets her Brad Mehldau on big time on "Cyclical." Awash with the influence of many a predecessor, "Liberation" encapsulates the fluidity of spirit and camaraderie that all piano/bass duos (at least the ones that fall from the tongue at a moment's notice) bring to light. Which runs true for the dual clarities of "With A Naked Heart" and the whole of Pictures In Time.

Track Listing

Answer Song; Aravah; Cyclical; Liberation; Chewbear; With A Naked Heart; Indigo; Stories; Like A Pop Song.

Personnel

Alex Sjobeck: piano; David Ian Baker: bass.

Album information

Title: Pictures in Time | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Next Level

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