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Chuck Marohnic Jazz Trio: White Men Can

Jim Santella By

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The album has a strange title. Intended to attract attention, no doubt. And obviously taken from the same, familiar catch phrase that was used as the title of a recent motion picture. No matter. Whatdoesmatter is the powerful sense of excitement that comes from this live session. The foursome (a piano trio with guest guitarist) drives straight ahead. While there are no Monk compositions on the program, it is designed to explain the mainstream in no uncertain terms. Henry Mancini, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Miles Davis... they represent the backbone of thousands of straight-ahead sessions over the years. Guitar and piano share the solo microphone. A Spanish classical tinge creeps into Chuck Marohnic's original "Unformed People," perhaps as a result of the somber nature of his compositional topic: abortion. Another original borrows the chord changes from "All the Things You Are." The quartet burns strong with this familiar chestnut, and swings in unexpected directions. Dom Moio turns out a creative session, particularly when trading fours. Both guitar and piano perform with fluid clarity and seamless phrasing. Their similarities of style are particularly noticeable on "Dream Dancing," which they perform as a duo. Steve Swallow's "Peau Douce" offers a simple linear landscape, while "Celeste" sparks with numerous three-dimensional phrases from the unexpected. Smooth, mainstream, and articulate. And yet, this foursome swings in a surprisingly hip manner.

Track Listing: Nardis; Dreamsville; Unformed People; Some of These Things; Nobody Else but Me; Dream Dancing; Peau Douce; Celeste.

Personnel: Chuck Marohnic- piano; John Stowell- guitar; Dwight Kilian- bass; Dom Moio- drums.

Title: White Men Can | Year Released: 2001

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