Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

179

Bill Connors: Return

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Combining light Latin smooth jazz with searing contemporary thrills, Bill Connors proves that he's been hard at work practicing, writing music, and studying since his last two albums, Double Up and Assembler, were recorded in the late 1980s. No sense in letting such great guitar chops get stale. With Return, he's able to turn it loose and demonstrate the same fiery technique that he displayed with Return to Forever in 1973-74 and later with a wider selection of contemporary jazz veterans.

Aside from John Coltrane's "Brasilia," the program features Connors originals that emphasize guitar and piano equally, as well as giving the rhythm section plenty of room for adventurous exploration. Drummer Kim Plainfield, who appeared on those last two Connors albums, returns with thunderous backbeats, textural variety, and a snappy syncopated approach.

Connors brings a lyrical charm to his smooth jazz selections, a swinging rhythmic approach to his light Latin pieces, and a hot, fiery attack to his contemporary selections. "Mr. Cool" and "Mind Over Matter" provide the best examples of his blazing guitar in action. Connors' most creative improvisations come along later on "Terrabill Blues," which forges strongly ahead at a fast tempo and ignites brushfires along the way.

"Brasilia" rambles slow and smooth with a comfortably smooth Latin jazz texture. Connors lets his guitar sing out in a vocal style that resonates languorously around the room. Unlike the song's composer, Connors chooses to keep this one smooth and mellow, focusing on his fluid, lyrical way with a melody instead of lighting his improvisational fires. They are, of course, lit brightly elsewhere on the album.


Track Listing: On the Edge; Mr. Cool; McMinor; Mind Over Matter; Minor Matters; Try Tone Today; Terrabill Blues; Nobody Yet To; It Be FM; Brasilia

Personnel: Bill Connors (guitar), Bill O'Connell (piano), Lincoln Goines (bass), Kim Plainfield (drums), Myra Casales (percussion)

Title: Return | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Tone Center

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "The Best of Bossacucanova" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of Bossacucanova
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Original Demos" CD/LP/Track Review Original Demos
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Harmonies" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonies
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 4, 2017