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On Waiting For You, Canadian pianist/composer Alex Clements shows that, with his already overactive musical life, he is still capable of turning out an interesting album. Clements is from Alberta, and was awarded the highly regarded Alberta Achievement Award. In addition to his writing for his alma mater, McGill University in Montreal, Clements is an active film scorer, and has completed the music for a reissue of It's A Wonderful Life for Paramount Pictures.
When last heard from, Clements' solo piano album, Emily's Song (Self Published, 2005), displayed his penchant for writing lyrical tunes. Now with a quartet setting, Clements has the opportunity to showcase some of his newer compositions. His piano playing is much in the modal style of Bill Evans, and Clements is able to swing as well as play reflectively.
The biggest surprise here is the addition of Canadian saxophonist Alain Bradette. When he takes over on the opening "Blues for BG," Bradette offers up a big-hearted and melodic beauty of a tenor sax solo in which he finds inspiration along the way; he surely must have listened a lot to Eric Alexander. Bradette divides his time equally between tenor and soprano sax, also showing his fluency and lyricism on the smaller horn. On the ballad "All I Can Give," Bradette warmly delivers a haunting performance on soprano. On the title tune, he begins with the melody and solo on soprano, then switching to tenor for an extended and soulful statement. Bradette also contributes the lullaby-like album closer, "Mist on the Water."
Clements has offered a series of attractive themes that serve as vehicles for inspired solo work from both himself and Bradette. The pianist also shows that he can supply supportive work for his players as well as sprightly solos.
Track Listing: Blues for GB; Nuits de Paris; Waiting for you...; Old Balsam; Time to Heal; New Horizons; Emily's Song; The New Tune; All I Can Give; Mist on the Water.
Personnel: Alex Clements: piano; Alain Bradette: soprano and tenor saxophones; Chris Queenan: acoustic bass; Danny Gottlieb: drums, percussion.
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.