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"Spring is Here." A bittersweet notion says Bryn Roberts on his album Present Tense. The Rodgers and Hart chestnut receives a rather moody makeover that competes with the Bill Evans version in its gloom quotient.
The group from Canada often resembles Keith Jarrett or any number of his label mates on ECM. The music skirts the line between achingly beautiful and morosely introspective. This music, while not always terribly exciting (track four "Forty" initially sounds a little like the trolley to Mr. Roger’s Land of Make Believe), is the perfect chilly Sunday afternoon music. Down here in Texas this makes the band a little exotic. This music born of the great white north is the soundtrack to detached longing and painful estrangement. Images of snowy mountains and icy winds pique this listener’s imagination.
At times the music does pick up. "Praxis" for example swings pretty hard. Generally, though the tunes quickly drop to a simmering flame. The music persistently floats, flirting with melody and form. Bryn Roberts’ icy arpeggios and runs celebrate the sadness. Not really happy stuff but easily recommended to fans of Gary Burton and ECM. "Handwriting" typifies Bryn Robert’s approach, beautifully inward-looking and recommended for those who do not fear music both pretty and smooth.
Track Listing: 1Spring is Here 2Handwriting 3.Present Tense 4.Forty 5.Improvisation 6.Praxis 7.Improvisation 2 8.Beneath the Surface 9At Last Sight 10.Likewise 11.Improvisation 3
Personnel: Bryn Roberts-piano Seamus Blake-tenor and soprano saxophone Stefan Bauer-Vibraphone Fraser Hollins-bass Karl Jannuska-Drums
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.