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Dave Sewelson: Smooth FreeJazz

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Dave Sewelson: Smooth FreeJazz
If you're a lover of adventurous music, you've certainly had the following experience. You take a seat in a coffee house or even worse in your dentist's chair and out of the speakers flows (stifle your tears) smooth jazz. You might welcome the John Cage—ian sound of the espresso frothier or the Merzbow noise of the dentist's drill to liberate your ears from the banal music. Never fear, to the rescue comes Dave Sewelson and his Smooth FreeJazz

For the saxophonist and founding member of the infamous Microscopic Septet, longtime horn with William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, and the Captain Beefheart cover band Fast 'N' Bulbous, the title is not an oxymoron. With Smooth FreeJazz, he vaccinates Yanni with an avant-garde virus and rebuilds Kenny G into a free jazz OG. His rapscallion demeanor is on full display here. Opening with a nearly twenty minute version of "Nature Boy,"a hit for Nat King Cole in the 1940s, and which has been covered by John Coltrane and George Benson, the music has the pulse of Booker T. & The MG's "Green Onions" which persists throughout. It' is only that Sewelson's baritone saxophone and growling vocals roguishly capsize the commonplace with his honk, wail and moan. The steady groove from fellow Micros bassist Dave Hofstra, drummer Bernice "Boom Boom" Brooks, and lap steel guitarist Mike Neer persists throughout, but it's Sewelson and the blues-drenched guitar of Neer who frees the the smooth from its confines. The remaining three songs are Sewelson originals. The saccharine pulse of "Song Moth" and "The Moment" both get stretched by notes blown from upper registers, and the reggae sounds of "Bill" are flavored by an inebriated walking horn and some sly lap steel guitar.

The quartet reprises "Nature Boy" with a radio friendly three minute version, made especially for your hipper dentists.

Track Listing

Nature Boy; Song Moth; The Moment; Bill; Nature Boy (Radio Version).

Personnel

Album information

Title: Smooth FreeJazz | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Mahakala Music


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