176

Steven Kirby Quartet: Point of Balance

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Steven Kirby Quartet: Point of Balance When you listen to a lot of recordings by younger jazz musicians, you're not surprised to hear great chops. The music schools and conservatories are steadily turning out highly polished, technically accomplished performers who can mimic the full gamut of jazz styles. What you seldom hear, though, is an original voice. That's why the new album by the Steven Kirby Quartet is such a treat.

Although Pat Metheny is obviously the major influence on Kirby, the Boston-based guitarist (not really such a kid, with 15 years of professional experience behind him) has an intense, darkly melodic sound that is very much his own. While his compositions tend towards the melancholic and introspective—though with none of the ethereal, New Age overtones that can sometimes make Metheny a bore—he can also swing mighty hard. And there is hardly a cliched lick or hackneyed phrase to be heard on this very adventurous album.

The nine original songs on Point of Balance range from the quiet impressionism of "Dawn" and "An Ever Fixed Mark," to the high energy of "Forest Road" and the title tune, where Kirby proves his facility with speedy solo runs. But Kirby is not one for hogging the spotlight (which makes him a rarity among electric guitarists). He gives plenty of solo space to the rest of the group—actually two separate, equally fine groups. Among the standout performers on hand are bassist Harvie Swartz, drummer George Schuller, and a pair of terrific pianists, Bevan Manson and Bennet Paster.


Title: Point of Balance | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: A-Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Departure CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read With You In Mind CD/LP/Track Review With You In Mind
by Doug Collette
Published: July 26, 2017
Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear...
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Live in New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live in New York
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "682/681" CD/LP/Track Review 682/681
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 5, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!