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Track review of "Three Views from Chicheng Precipice (after Bai Juyi)"
Seattle-based guitarist Dennis Rea discloses a 360-degree U-turn, contrasting his work with the hemi-powered progressive rock and jazz fusion bands, Iron Kim Style and Moraine. Rea's Asian-derived fusionof rock, avant-garde, Asian folk and Western classical conceptsspawns a translucent and rather kaleidoscopic genre-busting sequence of musical events.
The album opener "Three Views from Chicheng Precipice (after Bai Juyi)," establishes Rea's distinct Asian paradigms, integrated with percussion, strings, woodwinds and off-kilter metrics. He incorporates a myriad of tonal contrasts into his writing, and intersperses dashes of blues and rock into the slightly humble overtones. With textural treatments and his airy, ethereal and distortion-laced lines, the guitarist reformulates the primary melody throughout, and helps finalize the piece with fuzz-toned phrasings, in unison with the strings section. Having spent time in Asia, Rea's insightful interpretations of Asian music is broadly morphed into a nouveauand largely, fascinatingprogram.
Personnel: Dennis Rea: electric and resonator guitars, melodica, Naxi jaw harp, kalimba, dan bau (Vietnamese monochord); Alicia Allen: violin; Greg Campbell: drums, percussion; Ruth Davidson: cello; James Dejoie: bass flute, bamboo flute, bass clarinet; Caterina De Re: voice; Stuart Dempster: trombone, conch shell; Will Dowd: drums, percussion; Elizabeth Falconer: koto; John Falconer: shakuhachi; Jay Jaskot: drums; Paul Kikuchi: percussion; Kevin Millard: baliset.
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.