5

Desmond White: Short Stories

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Desmond White: Short Stories Size and substance are not reflective of one another. Some people mistakenly assume that grand-scale productions automatically deserve grand-scale receptions and small- scale artistry deserves to exist on the fringe. That makes about as much sense as holding a belief that novels, by their very nature, are of greater importance than short stories, but some people foolishly see it that way. They miss the point that it's the quality of the work, be it written, aural, or otherwise, that matters most; Desmond White gets that.

White, a bassist/guitarist/vocalist who hails from Perth, Western Australia and resides in the Big Apple, is firmly ensconced in the New York jazz scene, but calling him a jazz musician would be a mistake. Sure, he's lived up to that tag by playing with everybody from drummer Ari Hoenig to guitarist Gilad Hekselman to vocalist Nicky Schrire but, like the last artist on that list, he often finds inspiration in areas that are outside of jazz; jazz, as a matter-of-fact, has less to do with White's Short Stories than folk, rock, emo and any number of other sub-genres, if such things truly exist.

Much of the material that White presents on Short Stories comes out like a cross between the music of Jeremy Enigk, Elliott Smith, The Shins and Nick Drake; it's modernly folk-like and entrancing, polished-yet-vulnerable, and emotive- yet-grounded. Tracks like "Dancer," "Brown Leaves" and "Green Card" speak to White's ability to tell stories in a manner that's both relaxed and gripping. His guitar and voice are the focal point on the album but he's not looking to be the center of attention at all times. He takes detours in a few places, exploring other avenues and inviting some of his talented friends to take center stage. Pianist Fabian Almazan, for one, steals the show with his blooming piano solo on "Haruki I," and vocalist Gian Slater is ever-hypnotic during her lone guest spot on "Blue Tunnel."

White often hits the bull's-eye regardless of where he's aiming, but it should be noted that his aim isn't perfect. "Interlude," for example, seems superfluous and "Haruki II" is a bit too repetitive in certain respects, but White hits the mark everywhere else. Who needs musical novels and novellas when you've got short stories like these?

Track Listing: Dancer; Haruki I; Brown Leaves; Brown Leaves; Interlude; Green Card; Wait; Haruki II; Blue Tunnel; Raulen; Dancer/Fan Noise

Personnel: Desmond White: guitars, bass, vocals; Fabian Almazan: piano (2, 5, 6, 8); Myla Kato- Duvally: piano (8); Ben Vander Wal: drums (2, 4, 5, 7); Mike Rivett: tenor saxophone (2); Gian Slater: vocals (8).

Title: Short Stories | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Biophilia Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Radioactive Landscapes EP" CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Avenida Graham" CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "PointCounterPoint" CD/LP/Track Review PointCounterPoint
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 7, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.