”Colours” is a multinational band who wear their name well. On Rebel Heart, the band serve up an engaging, airy and quite “colorful” series of compositions that skirt the fringes of contemporary fusion and radio friendly jazz along with a few nods, or perhaps gratis to guitarist Pat Metheny. On compositions such as “Like There’s No Tomorrow”, guitarist Frankie Rose utilizes an electric sitar along with cheery “lyric-less” vocals by guest musician Paul Curtiz that parallel singer Mark Ledford and his now familiar work with Metheny. More Metheny-isms surface on the title track and the composition, “She Stands Alone” complete with affable melodies, firm rhythms, and adept soloing by all, yet this band doesn’t hide the fact that they appreciate Metheny’s musical influence and significance in modern music. However, these pieces in particular are well constructed, beautifully recorded and thoroughly entertaining and that’s not all. On the delightful piece titled, “Dolce Vita”, the band tackle Italian folk music with a modern edge, featuring some nifty and altogether dexterous lead accordion lines presumably by keyboardist Vincent Bruyninckx. Here, the musicians invoke images of sipping espresso at a cafe somewhere in Rome. Bassist Jacques Pili shows his estimable goods on “Myriam” via pumping, linearly executed electric bass lines as the bassist may have had Jaco in mind while performing atop the odd-metered backbeat, Rose’s poignant lead guitar lines and tasty electric piano soloing from Bruyninckx. On this track, the band produce a bit of controlled and graceful mayhem as the overall vibes touch the heart without slamming one’s senses into oblivion. All in all, Rebel Heart features an intriguing compositional mix, solid ensemble work and impressive arrangements although the elapsed time of 42-minutes seems a bit short when considering the strong material presented throughout.
Essentially, “Colours” are most effective at extracting the finer elements of “soft” fusion while fabricating somewhat of a signature group sound, which also holds true during the Metheny-style compositions. In all actuality it is hard to dislike this recording, as this band should enjoy widespread appeal not only from a marketing perspective but also from those who possess discriminating tastes! * * * *
Frankie Rose; Guitars, Vocals: Michael Moliterno; Drums/Percussion: Jacques Pili; Electric Basses: Vincent Bruyninckx; Keyboards
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.