Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Shane Dylan: When It All Makes Sense

Jerome Wilson By

Sign in to view read count
Shane Dylan is a young pianist studying at Boston's New England Conservatory who has put out a debut CD that tries to show the breadth of his musical interests. It is split into two halves, the first with more groove-oriented material, the second going in a more mainstream jazz direction.

The first half covers a lot of ground under the "groove" umbrella. Two of the tracks cover popular r'n'b songs. An atmospheric version of Erykah Badu's "Orange Moon" is sung by Jolee Gordon, with Evan Wright backing, as understated soul over a bed of strummed guitar and light-fingered piano. The singers swap places on a stirring, straightforward version of Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror" with Wright leading and Gordon accompanying. The rest of this half is instrumental. Dylan's piano creates thoughtful, relaxed progressions over Gengis Don's clipped drum beats on "Maya's Song" and Arlo Sims' guitar steps to the fore on "Isaiah" with tight, fluid runs over a more propulsive rhythm. Then there's a sparkling piano-trio version of "Old Man River" which starts with a slow, loping bass line that shifts mid-track to an up-tempo Second Line rhythm. Dylan really shows his abilities here as he drops down crystalline piano notes, and toys with the rhythm section's shifting beats with the slip-fingered elegance of Ahmad Jamal.

The second half of the CD presents the more straight-ahead jazz side of Dylan's music. He forms a really strong trio with bassist Evan Carley and drummer Mario Layne Fabrizio here, again showing his knack for locking into a good groove on tracks like the pleasant Gregory Porter stroll, "Insanity," the jaunty swinger "One Step Ahead," and the more turbulent Latin-flavored "Blind Eyes." However, the sound of the two saxophonists sometimes hold things back as Mike Talento on tenor and Jorge Roldan on alto come off both harsh and muffled, like they were playing too close to their microphones. Their tones can be overbearing, and sometimes overwhelm the piano trio's delicate interplay, something particularly noticeable on "Somewhere Far Away." Things do get better when they step back from the mikes on "One Step Ahead" and let their sound breathe. Like the first half of the CD, the standout track of this half is an old song, this time"Danny Boy." It is introduced by a slow, chiming piano figure and rolling drums before Roldan and Talento play the theme with quiet restraint. Then Dylan takes center stage with a wonderful solo, tinged with blues and sentiment, and the saxophones come back to ride the theme to a solemn climax.

Shane Dylan is a very promising musician with a playful touch and the ability to grasp real emotion in his music. This first effort is not perfect but some tracks, especially the frisky "Old Man River" and the powerful "Danny Boy," suggest he could be capable of great things.

Track Listing: Old Man River; Orange Moon; Isaiah; Maya's Song; Man In The Mirror; Somewhere Far Away; Insanity; Blind Eyes; One Step Ahead; Danny Boy.

Personnel: Shane Dylan: piano; Evan Wright, Jolee Gordon: vocals (2, 5); Arlo Sims: guitar (2,3,5); Chris Mondak: bass (1-5); Gengis Don: drums (1-5); Mike Talento: tenor sax (6-10); Jorge Roldan: alto sax (6-10); Evan Carley: bass (6-10); Mario Layne Fabrizio: drums (6-10).

Title: When It All Makes Sense | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus


Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Infection In The Sentence Album Reviews
Infection In The Sentence
By Chris May
February 18, 2019
Read Real Isn't Real Album Reviews
Real Isn't Real
By Phil Barnes
February 18, 2019
Read Citizen Album Reviews
By Roger Farbey
February 18, 2019
Read Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs Album Reviews
Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs
By Doug Hall
February 18, 2019
Read Narrow Escape Album Reviews
Narrow Escape
By Roger Farbey
February 18, 2019
Read The Gleaners Album Reviews
The Gleaners
By Karl Ackermann
February 17, 2019
Read God Is Not A Terrorist Album Reviews
God Is Not A Terrorist
By Chris May
February 17, 2019