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Behn Gillece: Stick Together

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Behn Gillece: Stick Together
The vibraphone came to prominence during the Jazz Age of the '20s and has remained a staple in that genre ever since. Over the years, performers such as Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson and Gary Burton have added to the popularity of the instrument. N ow vibraphonist Behn Gillece is building from this legacy to develop his own unique sound. With Stick Together, his seventh Posi-Tone release, Gillece gives listeners a delightful collection of music which not only highlights his musical talent but also shows his skills in composition and arrangement.

Originally from New Jersey, Gillece moved to New York City in 2006. During the years since, he has established himself as an exceptional performer, composer and educator. He is in-demand as a session player, recording with such artists as Patrick Cornelius, Michael Dease, New Faces, Walt Weiskopf, Melody Gardot, Idle Hands, Out To Dinner, and Ensemble Novo. He has a flourishing career as a bandleader and is also a member of the Jazz Studies department at Rowan University.

Stick Together offers an excellent overview of Gillece's talent. Although this album is under his name, the focus here is on celebrating the power of collaboration, and there is a group dynamic in the recording, which is no surprise. Gillece is joined here by musicians he has performed with for years, including pianist Art Hirahara, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummer Rudy Royston. The result is an uplifting sense of unity which brings the music to a higher level, much like the feeling when a jam session is firing on all cylinders.

The album's title is a double entendre; on one level it is a reference to the sticks used for playing the vibraphone but it also emphasizes the connections among the players in the band. This is evidenced by the opening track, "Almost There," a Steve Giordano composition, by a guitarist whom Gillece played with for years. The song starts with a soft, melodic interplay between Gillece and Hirarhara, and quickly escalates into a tight, satisfying groove.

Except for the Sam Rivers number "Cyclic Episode," the songs are Gilece originals, and his compositional skills are impressive, to say the least. From the rhythmic complexity of "Four of a Kind" to the soft melodic feel of "Changing My Day," Stick Together offers various moods.

As the title suggests, however, the real focus here is on the group dynamics. Whether it is an easy going tune such as "Cascades Merging" or a slightly more rocking song such as "Get On It!," each member of the band is involved in a satisfying musical conversation. Rather than being focused solely on his musical skills, Gillece shows the power of collaboration, resulting in some cool groves which bear repeated listening.

Track Listing

Almost There; Four Of A Kind; Changing My Day; Get On It!; Cyclic Episode; Shimmering Sands; Cascades Merging; In The Huddle; Dreamscape; Barreling Through; Lazy September.

Personnel

Behn Gillece
vibraphone
Boris Kozlov
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Stick Together | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


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