All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Isamu McGregor: Resonance

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
It has been five years since the release of pianist Isamu McGregor's debut Live at the Baked Potato! (Amorphous Paraphernalia Records, 2012) and his Resonance turns out to be well worth the wait. While the first album was solidly entrenched in the fusion arena, the current outing is a genre defying and eclectic collection with an emphasis on acoustics. McGregor, still in his twenties, has worked with some top talent including Chris Potter, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc and Stefon Harris. The members of his original quartet return here, but with varying degrees of involvement.

"The Dreamer" is an eclectic blend of styles; classicism meets funk and coexists nicely over the course of ten minutes. Tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake owns the searing and soulful "Relentless," a highlight of the album. The great Bennie Maupin makes a lasting impression with his guest solo on "The Drifter"; his bass clarinet adding a nomadic feel to the piece. "Thor vs. James Brown" brings back the fusion style with a heavy emphasis on Deen Anbar's electric guitar and some fine bass work from Evan Marien. Anbar was a significant factor in the debut but appears only on this one track of the new album. In large part, it is the aspect that skews the album further away from fusion.

Resonance demonstrates a growing expertise for this young artist. As a performer and composer, this new album shows maturity and a willingness to tackle some very diverse elements. McGregor has surrounded himself with a talented group of musicians, Blake, in particular, really standing out on his solos. Resonance is a major step forward in terms of McGregor's compositional development and an intriguing listen.

Track Listing: The Dreamer; Relentless; Halfway There; Because; The Drifter; Thor vs. James Brown; The Tao of Flying.

Personnel: Isamu McGregor: piano/keyboards; Evan Marien: bass; Gene Coye: drums; Bennie Maupin: bass clarinet (5); Seamus Blake: tenor sax (2); Deen Anbar: guitar (6).

Title: Resonance | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Ghost Note


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


Ghost Note

Isamu McGregor: Live at the Baked Potato!

Isamu McGregor: Live...

Amorphous Paraphernalia Records


Related Articles

Read Rumah Batu CD/LP/Track Review
Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read The Bat Swings! CD/LP/Track Review
The Bat Swings!
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Terrestrial CD/LP/Track Review
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Get Somethin' CD/LP/Track Review
Get Somethin'
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Bansangu Orchestra CD/LP/Track Review
Bansangu Orchestra
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read "Sermon Organ Combo" CD/LP/Track Review Sermon Organ Combo
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "Scarlett Roses" CD/LP/Track Review Scarlett Roses
by Doug Collette
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Terrestrial Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Terrestrial Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 8, 2018
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Modern Lore" CD/LP/Track Review Modern Lore
by Doug Collette
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "Sticks and Stones" CD/LP/Track Review Sticks and Stones
by John Kelman
Published: February 3, 2018