86

Cadwallader, Asetta & Dixson: Quicker Than The Eye

Michael McCaw By

Sign in to view read count
Cadwallader, Asetta & Dixson: Quicker Than The Eye Quicker Than The Eye is not your standard piano trio fare. Pianist Rex Cadwallader, bassist Mike Asetta, and drummer Ati Dixson are pushing the excepted norms of how different camps of jazz are defined through original and inspired playing. Whether or not you are willing to listen depends on how staunch you are concerning the brand of jazz you affiliate yourself with.

Boasting a style that straddles the common precepts of what the smooth and straight-ahead jazz idioms are supposed to sound like, Quicker Than The Eye melds these sounds together in every performance to varying degrees. Where no one song pledges allegiance to either camp, they are also seemingly rooted in both. As a pianist, Cadwallader frequently lays down an infectious groove with strong solos often incorporating an electronic keyboard sound some listeners may find more in tune with smooth jazz. Combined with the group sound, the trio falls somewhere between the lines of more commercial Chick Corea (an admitted influence) and the more dynamic players of pop-oriented jazz like recent Crusaders or Yellowjackets with an ideology akin to someone like Mark Elf, who has tread the popular and the critical to a good degree of success.

Cadwallader writes in the liner notes of the album that as a child he was captivated by magic and the idea that "the unseen was just as real as the seen. As an adult he believes he has retained much of this excitement and hopes to translate some of it into music. And he is working this reference a lot, in every sense. Songs like "White Doves and Purple Silk sound at first glance something you would find on the smooth jazz hit chart. Even so, the music doesn't quite fit as it refuses to be passive, all three musicians working together to be heard seriously.

Wanting to emulate the word play of Nat Adderley's "Fun and "Games, Cadwallader pens two of the strongest tracks in "Now You See It... and "...Now You Don't. Both favor, as most do, an upbeat memorable melody that allows for interesting solos. But neither strays far off the path either, never really moving beyond the safe parameters they have defined from the onset. Cadwallader is an impressive pianist, no matter what you think of the sound employed on the album. He creates a wonderful swagger and drive throughout as he works each of his compositions with verve.

Ultimately, for listeners who are open to a more pop-oriented sound with some of the fire of straight jazz piano, there is a lot to discover here. Cadwallader, Asetta, and Dixson are plowing a hard road here when it comes to bridging these often dogmatic and fervently opposed camps. But they do so with vigor and confidence and a high degree of success. If listeners from both spheres give Quicker Than The Eye a chance, many will find a lot to enjoy. Conversely, others are likely to dismiss it for the very same reasons.

Visit Rex Cadwallader on the web.

Track Listing: Quicker Than The Eye; Now You See It; My Lovely Assistant; Prestidigitation; Can You Keep A Secret?; Houdini; Nothing Up My Sleeve; Dirty Tricks; White Doves and Purple Silk; ...Now You Don't; My Lovely Assistant - Short Version.

Personnel: Rex Cadwallader: piano and keyboards; Mike Asetta: acoustic and electric bass; Arti Dixson: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Stanza USA | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Beyond The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Beyond The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 18, 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!