Monday, April 26, 2010

Playscape Records has built a very nice niche for itself as a source of well thought out, open ended modern jazz. This is another fine album, led by bassist Joe Fonda and Michael Jefry Stevens on piano with Herb Robertson on trumpet and Harvey Sorgen on drums. "In The Whitecage" has a deep and ominous melody, before the instruments prodding at the improvisation build to speed on an open ended performance. Fast paced and percussive piano and slurred trumpet compete with urgent drumming. "For My Brother" slows things down to a ballad tempo with lush piano and gentle pinched trumpet. Robertson gets a deep and soulful almost Miles Davis like tone from his trumpet, and lovely piano playing seals the deal. "Yes This Is It" features dark and burnished trumpet with a strong tone backed by deeply rhythmic drumming. Robertson ups the ante with a sputtering trumpet solo, full of fire. "Memphis Ramble" opens with a fast drum solo and funky piano. The musicians add some chanted vocals the give the performance the bluesy feel of a strutting R&B/jazz amalgam. Strong and open ended interplay made this a successful album. The music melds a number of influences from free jazz to ballads and R&B and blends them into a nicely interwoven whole. Memphis - amazon.com

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