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The Four Ages of Bob , the tenth release by guitarist Andrew Cheshire, continues on the path of his previous recordings with inventive, stylized, and captivating music. The cover art and liner notes (also produced by Cheshire) elaborate on a fictional character named Bob whose life has been filled with change. From concept to composition, the recording effectively parallels Bob's life with music that varies in mood, tempo, and execution. Cheshire's quintet of solid musicians (also including piano, saxophone, and rhythm section) nicely works out eight compositions around the theme, producing some memorable moments. The musicians are supportive and clearly in sync with one another. An accomplished guitarist, Cheshire's many attributes include not only serious chops and technique, but also a pristine sound delivered with clarity that is evident throughout the recording.
The music begins with the smooth upbeat groove of "Bob Attends a Love-In," but things really get interesting when "Bob Takes a Bad Trip" and "Bob Discovers Scientology," where the band embodies modern swing, free jazz, and other modes with fervent interaction and developed solos. The sound is vibrant as each instrument is acutely pronounced with spots like searing drum rolls, deep bass lines, and tight melody arrangements. This is clearly noticeable on "Bob Meets a Beautiful Girl"; the ballad exudes a quiet solitude where tempo and spacing is clearly punctuated. The remaining compositions carry this same level of high quality and detailed musicianship in a recording that is easily accessible, appealing, and well performed.
Track Listing: 1. Bob Attends a Love-In;
2. Bob Takes a Bad Trip;
3. Bob Discovers Scientology;
4. Bob Buys a Pet Rock;
5. Bob Meets a Beautiful Girl;
6. Bob Joins a Garage Band;
7. Bob Encounters a Moment of Truth;
8. Bob Enters The Land of Lum.
Personnel: Andrew Cheshire--guitar;
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.