Jazz Sensibilities

Since 2008, a place to discover new jazz and beyond releases on the rise. New WEBSITE and New Contributors Adding. Stay Tuned. Until then, enjoy the blog, but check back often.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Joe Beck Trio, Get Me Joe Beck

by Icrom Bigrad

Joe Beck Trio, Get Me Joe Beck (Whaling City Sound)

Joe Beck - who passed away 6 years ago at age 63, left us with his final recording Get Me Joe Beck, which was captured at a performance at Anna’s Jazz Island in Berkeley CA on Sept. 14, 2006, featuring locals Peter Barshay on bass and Dave Rokeach on drums, to round out a solid and interactive trio. Beck at the time had failing heath, but not a note would reveal this fact, he truly was shining in true form. Highlights include: “Alone Together,” “You and the Night and the Music” and “Tenderly.” A spoken word track in which Beck describes his approach to his instrument (“The guitar is a six-piece band”) gives us a unique look at the methodology, chalked full of visions about his sparkling mastery.

Rik Wright, Fundamental Forces: Blue

by Jeff Becker

With influences ranging from Jim Hall to Jeff Beck to John Abercrombie, it is only natural that Rik Wright Fundamental Forces, Blue would be the driving tonality of his latest endeavour, but one has to take this one step further and recognize that compositionally elements of Charles Mingus are present.  Like Mingus, Wright’s compositions retain the hot and soulful feel of hard bop, while sometimes drawing on elements of third stream and/or fusion. Almost a fused tradition with unique and unexplored realms of jazz; keeping one foot in tradition, while the other foot is stepping into the future.

Wright’s style of writing though very modern and forward in style, still captures a melodic yet catchy sensitivity.  “Mood Ring” highlights a sixteen note pulse, which finds Wrights guitar in unison with DeJoie’s reed instrument for the first statement of the melody, giving the cut a dark, yet provocative impression. James DeJoie a major influence as well in the tonality of the proceedings plays clarinet with agility and clarity. On “The Butterfly Effect,” DeJoie’s alto solo soars.  The combination of Wright and DeJoie as soloists on this outing elevates the overall effect.  On “Nonchalant” DeJoie is featured on bass clarinet, again adding to the uniqueness of the cut. On “Parting Ways” he plays a flute intro with a distinctive Asian overtone.  Wright’s guitar is a fantastic foil and complements the reeds on each cut with crisp gentle chords, all the while with Geoff Harper (bass), and Greg Campbell (drums, percussion), creating a solid and forward rhythmic foundation for both Wright and DeJoie to expand their ideas upon. The final track “Miss Thing” takes it a bit more avant/third stream with spacious guitar, chiming sounds sparsely colouring and relaxed drum colours, add a raspy alto solo from DeJoie that builds to a frenetic pace and an almost Jimmy Paige affected rock guitar solo from Wright, it is a fitting emotional release to the overall picture.  Rik Wrights Fundamental Forces, Blue is a highly recommended listen, especially for a jazzer that enjoys grit.