111

Katahadin's Edge: Step Away

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Katahadin's Edge: Step Away Step Away spices up the piano trio format with shifting time signatures, quirky melodies, some solid rock beats, bits of funk grooves, and brooding interludes juxtaposed with bright rhythms. And you'll hear the occasional Balkan tinge in there, too, along with some subtle "mysterious" and "unearthly sounds," by a pianist who favors the darker tones a good deal of the time, even when the bass and drums have a bounce in their step.

Pianist Willie Myette wrote all the songs here, creating a sound that feels very spontaneous. A student of Fred Hersch, his approach is similar to his teacher's style—thoughtful, sometimes foreboding ("Full Circle"), with a good deal of mixed meter grooves laid down. There is also here a sense of adventure. While Step Away could be called mainstream, the melodies are never predictable—you don't come away from the experience whistling them, and band energies and moods tend to ebb and flow within a single tune.

A consistently interesting set of sounds, the song "Wagons of the Night," inspired by Myette's visit to the catacombs in Paris, is a particular highlight, a somber mood on piano in front of the rise and fall of the bass/drum tempo. "Zoeie" opens jauntily, a bouncing bass/drum unit behind the sharply percussive piano melody built around a repeated phrase, with a subtle wind-like sound (studio tweakings) blowing cool in the background.

The group makes spare use of studio textures, leaving the mood feeling mainstream; but they use those "mysterious sounds" so well that more of them would have been welcome here.

Step Away proves itself a successful and attention-grabbing debut for Katahdin's Edge.

Track Listing: Step Away, Enigma, Wagons of the Night, Full Circle, Zargonic Effect, Traveler in the Dark, Soulmates, Zoeie

Personnel: Willie Myette--piano; John Funkhouser--bass; Mike Connors--drums

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Incline Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "N.O. Escape" CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "2468 West Grand Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review 2468 West Grand Boulevard
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Things Are Looking Up" CD/LP/Track Review Things Are Looking Up
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!