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...


Katahadin's Edge: Step Away

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
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

Title: Step Away | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Incline Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Step Away

Step Away

Incline Records


Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Najwa" CD/LP/Track Review Najwa
by John Sharpe
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Blues and Boogie Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Blues and Boogie Vol. 1
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House" CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018