153

Colin Dean: Shiwasu

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist and composer Colin Dean graduated from New York's New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2006, and has since played across musical genres that include jazz, hip-hop and indie rock. Shiwasu, his first recording under his own name, finds him in the company of three distinguished fellow musicians on a set of tunes that draw on Dean's non-jazz influences to bring a fresh edge to mainstream modern jazz.

Dean and drummer Colin Stranahan form a tight and dynamic rhythm section, while saxophonist Sean Nowell—who plays in Dean's jazz and hip-hop orchestra, Roots and Grooves—is a melodic, precise lead player, especially on soprano. Pianist Rachel Z. moves between roles with ease—her rhythm playing is full and rich, her solos are lyrical and inventive.

Of Dean's own compositions, "Wakan" is a standout tune, a beautiful melody, handled mainly by Z, with some fine percussion from Stranahan and a fluid solo from Dean himself. "Akasha" is the most emphatic display of Dean's hip-hop influences—a solid groove from Dean, Stranahan and Z underpins the melody from Newell's tenor sax, before Z takes over with a sparkling piano solo, full of chunky chords and tight runs. Z also impresses on "Brooklyn Ferry"—her playing, coupled with Dean's flowing bass line, evokes the gentle motion of a ship on the water.

There are two covers on Shiwasu: Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart's "My Romance," and Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin's "My Ship." The former tune is given a straightforward, somewhat anonymous arrangement, although Z once again delivers some splendid piano, and Dean's own playing is crisply swinging. "My Ship," from the musical Lady In The Dark, retains its well-known melody but the quartet invest it with a slightly more up-tempo and syncopated arrangement than usual: Stranahan's brushed drums drive the tune along, while Z's piano, Nowell's soprano, and Dean's arco bass each take turns acting as the lead instrument.

Shiwasu is a strong recording—mainstream, but with added influences that lift it out of the well-worn path. Dean is a musician with some innovative ideas and the ability to make them work, and his tunes on Shiwasu signal the arrival of a worthy new talent.

Track Listing: Growth; Wakan; My Romance; Bardo; Akasha; Brooklyn Ferry; My Ship.

Personnel: Sean Nowell: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Rachel Z: piano; Colin Dean: acoustic bass; Colin Stranahan: drums.

Title: Shiwasu | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Shiwasu

Shiwasu

Self Produced
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Requiem for a New York Slice Album Reviews
Requiem for a New York Slice
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019