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With the advantage of having access, these days, to what is currently going on in the 21st century jazz scene as well as the jazz tradition, it is not rare to find young musicians whose music conveys both the present and the past of jazz. That is certainly the case with Shawn Costantino, a saxophonist/flautist/clarinetist/composer with a style thickened by the sounds of bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, fusion, smooth jazz and everything in between.
Costantino plays with a warm, relaxed and soothing tone in the smooth jazz tracks "Don't Let Me Be Lonely," "The Touch of Your Lips" and "Song for Ryan." But on "The Transplant," "Waltz for Anne" and "Bailout," his tone and improvisations are freer, more aggressive and deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. The faster pace, harmonic sophistication and virtuosic improvisations on "Bailout" are reminiscent of 1950s hard bop.
The sound of the electric guitar and organ on James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely" and the funk arrangements of The Beatles "Can't Buy Me Love" give the music a rock/jazz fusion feel. The Hindu-influenced, sitar-like intro in "Can't Buy Me Love" is a reminder of the connection and fascination of The Beatles with the culture and music of India.
Waltz for Anne is Shawn Costantino first recording as a leader, and surely a step in the right direction for this Boston native.
Track Listing: Can't By Me Love; Whatever You Do; Don't Let Me Be Lonely; The Transplant;
Waltz for Anne; The Touch Of Your Lips; Song for Ryan; Bailout.
Personnel: Shawn Costantino: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet. Andrew
Synowiec: guitar. Lincoln Cleary: piano, fender rhodes, organ. Jens Kuross: drums.
David Hughes: bass.
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.