All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

173

School of the Arts Featuring T Lavitz: School of the Arts

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Given the musicians assembled by pianist T.Lavitz on School of the Arts, it would hardly be hedging your bets to expect an out-and-out chops fest. What may come as a surprise, however, is that it is practically an all-acoustic affair. And whilst the tempo of the music is almost relentlessly fast, there are not so many solos that you'd lose count. When they do come, though, you'd better hang onto your hat.



With all bar two of the compositions written by Lavitz, his personality is indelibly stamped on the music. When he's not comping or marking rhythm with percussive chords, his breezy sound shadows the runs of violinist Jerry Goodman and the guitars of Frank Gambale and Steve Morse. He breaks free here and there to deliver fresh, uncluttered solos and his high register preference on the keyboard suggests the spirit of Bruce Hornsby.



Ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist Goodman is thankfully enjoying something of a late-career renaissance. Here he lends his unmistakable sound—a blend of jazz, country twang and bluegrass soul—to "No Time Flat," the Yellowjackets-like "Dinosaur Dance," and "Like This," where he really lets go. His playing is full of zest and the pity is that his contribution is restricted to these three tunes alone.



Not to be outdone, Gambale demonstrates eye-popping technique on the melodic opener, "Fairweather Green," and "High Falutin' Blues," playing with a fluidity more associated with the electric guitar. Fellow guitarist Morse, whose collaboration with T. Lavitz goes back to the end of the 1970s with the Dixie Dregs, impresses on "Portrait," with a ballsy blues solo on a song which evokes Al Di Meola.



Fast for sure, but melody and form are never sacrificed on the altar of virtuosity. On Gambale's "Gambashwari," drummer Dave Weckl switches to brushes and the pace of the music eases up a little. The final, quiet word goes to Lavitz on "Maybe Next Time," a solo piano piece which sounds part Keith Jarrett, part Dr. John and closes the album on a lyrical note.



Lavitz, in stellar company, has produced something of a rarity; an acoustic album with the vitality of electric fusion, and feel-good tunes which are a celebration of the joy of playing.


Track Listing: Fairweather Green; No Time Flat; On Fire; Portrait; Like This; High Falutin

Personnel: T Lavitz: piano, bass (3); Dave Weckl: drums, percussion; Frank Gambale: acoustic guitar; Jerry Goodman: violin (2, 5, 8); John Patitucci: acoustic and electric bass; Steve Morse: acoustic guitar (3, 4).

Title: School of the Arts | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Magnatude Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

No Time Flat

No Time Flat

T. Lavitz
School of the Arts

Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
School of the Arts

School of the Arts

Magnatude Records
2007

buy
 

From The West

Intima Records
1987

buy
 

Storytime

Intima Records
1986

buy
 

Extended Play

Intima Records
1984

buy

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "No Secrets No Lies" CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Original Demos" CD/LP/Track Review Original Demos
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Spirits" CD/LP/Track Review Spirits
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984" CD/LP/Track Review J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984
by Chris May
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "The Poetry of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "Of Light and Shadows" CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017