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...

153

Solar: Suns of Cosmic Consciousness

By

Sign in to view read count
This first effort from the trio known as Solar introduces one of the more intriguing piano-driven groups on the current scene. Pianist Eli Amin, co-founder of the Jazz Drama Program for children in the New York area, received his Master's Degree in Music Education at Lehman College, CUNY and now teaches at the school. Bassist Alan Bernstein, jazz director at the Berkeley-Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY, is a multi-talented composer/arranger with experience in a variety of musical contexts. Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Andy Demos has performed in groups as eclectic as Tiny Lights, The Whole Earth Ensemble, and the Pamela Wyn Shannon Band.

Together they create a landscape that incorporates a multitude of cultural and stylistic nuances. On Suns of Cosmic Consciousness, original compositions are mixed with tunes by Mingus, Monk, and Sun Ra. King's "Come On even features the band's vocals, not what they do best, but colorful enough to add depth. Latin, swing, rock, and march-like rhythms seem quite natural, carefully placed in the proper context for each tune. These players consistently display a historic sensibility that belies their age.

On Bernstein's wonderful jumping opener, "Samba De Aztac, Demos uses rims and edges of the drum heads to imply timbales, while Bernstein and Amin provide the foundation and a catchy melody. On Amin's "Waltz on the Hudson, the trio is perfectly at home with a rollicking and upbeat 3/4 swing, and Bernstein provides a memorable solo. On Monk's "Rhythm-a-ning, Demos sets the tone through extensive use of toms and snare (snares off), giving the venerable standard a very fresh take. Drummers will especially enjoy the thwacks in this reading. Yamin's "Perk Up - for Walter Perkins, could easily be mistaken for another Monk tune. He employs Monk-like piano inflections to portray the melody and frame his solo—charming stuff indeed. Bernstein and Demos add solos as well.

With Yamin's "Reincarnation 1968, a pensive piano introduction leads to the addition of tabla and bass. African-inspired background vocals help delineate the melodic line. Demos adds a sax solo to one of the rock-driven alternate sections. The title perfectly describes this tune, which sounds like a '60s track from a B movie. "Love in Outer Space might be taken as accompaniment for some type of film as well. A repeating bass line provides support for floating piano lines, brushes on the kit, and percussion accents, establishing a meditative yet not too serious flavor. "In, Out, a short ballad that exudes quiet reflection, manifests the abilities of the trio in a more subtle setting and gives Bernstein another opportunity to display his solo skills.

This is another fine example of contemporary recording techniques and skilled studio work. Engineer Ted Kumpel captures the entire affair with significant care. Solar's music is portrayed in a comfortable manner well suited to the artists' individual and collective talents. An emblematic quality permeates the tunes, growing on the listener with each audition. Simply put, this is cool stuff. Highly recommended.

Visit Adam Bernstein and Eli Yamin on the web.

Track Listing: 1. Samba de Aztac; 2. Reincarnation; 3. Remember Rockefeller at Attica; 4.In, Out; 5. Waltz on the Hudson; 6. Rhythm-A-Ning; 7. Perk Up; 8. September Song; 9.Prototype for Constructive Dialogue; 10. Solar 2002; 11. Come On King; 12. Love in Outer Space.

Personnel: Eli Yamin: Piano, Vocals; Adam Bernstein: Vocals, Acoustic Bass; Andy Demos: Percussion, Drums, Tenor Saxophone, Tabla; Kate McGarry: Vocals; Jane Kelly Williams: Vocals.

Title: Suns of Cosmic Consciousness | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Aztac

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019