492

Paul Keeling: The Farthest Reach

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Keeling: The Farthest Reach The cultures of several musical idioms collide in the music of pianist Paul Keeling on his album, The Farthest Reach. There is a distinct channeling of the pulsating rhythm of late-1960s bop, the gospel of which was spread by musicians such as Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard. Keeling also channels the glacial imagery of musicians who took inspiration from the European stream that was given life by the impressionism of Maurice Ravel. Thus Bill Evans may be heard in Keeling's piano, as well as Keith Jarrett and Lyle Mays. But Keeling also has a fine sense of himself as a hard-swinging musician who can also magically conjure up images of magical vistas, stir up the emotions of those that inhabit these spaces, and sound meaningful and unforgettable while doing both.

He does this in long, loping lines that traverse the keyboard. Sometimes he might start in the middle and go end to end; at other times he moves in a vertical direction plunging deep into a phrase and turning it inside out. He combines logic with magic, often coming up with almost inexplicable phrases and lines that not only seem plausible, but seem to fit in a sort of mystical way, like fire on a mountain and rumbling deep within the earth. All this comes gloriously together in the music of tracks like "Alpenglow," with its spry, dancing rhythm and ecstatic melody. Then there is "Bitterroot," a work of sweeping grandeur that depicts a region of great wonder and wilderness in the mountains of Montana. And of course "The Farthest Reach" suggests the breathtaking oceanic wonders of the Northwest in all their glory, but also with a certain sense of wistfulness.

Keeling also has interesting renditions of some fairly recognizable music blended in with his compositions. Kenny Dorham's "Escapade" is airily rendered, with sharp twists in the song's head that breaks up the walking rhythm of the choruses. Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" reflects the dazzling beauty of after-hours cruising and chasing a highlife rather than the rather elementally sad and lonely feelings that are often read into the song. Pat Metheny's "Bright Size Life" is energetic and fresh, capturing all the twists and turns of Metheny's original staccato wonder.

It is always refreshing to listen to a musician who has a clearly defined sense of history and works this in to his own sense of where he is at a precise time. The music on this album is a remarkable reflection of a pianist who has large measures of talent and has worked this into his fine awareness of time and space. "The Farthest Reach" is a fine springboard. It will be interesting to see where Keeling will leap next.


Track Listing: Alpenglow; Escapade; Mauna Loa; 'Round Midnight; King of Clubs; Bright Size Life; The Bitterroot; The Farthest Reach; Just a Song Before I Go.

Personnel: Paul Keeling: piano; Morgan Childs: drums; Sean Cronin: bass; Chris Davis: trumpet (3, 5, 7, 8); Steve Kaldestad: tenor saxophone (3, 5, 7, 8)

Title: The Farthest Reach | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Heavy Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Isang" CD/LP/Track Review Isang
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Journey To The Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Journey To The Heart
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 13, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.