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Bebop Spoken There

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Saturday, September 01, 2012

CD Review - Graham Dechter: Takin' it There.

Graham Dechter (gtr); Tamir Hendelman (pno); John Clayton (bs); Jeff Hamilton (dms).
(Review by Lance.)
A must for guitar buffs! Graham Dechter, a young guitarist from Los Angeles, lives up to his hype as being poised and polished, suave and swinging - he is all these things and more. Both Dechter and pianist Hendelman paid their dues in the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and it is fitting that the co-leaders of that orchestra complete the quartet here.

Wes Montgomery's Road Song, Barney Kessel's Be Deedle De Do reveal Dechter to be able to groove with the best and yet retain his own personality. Listen to the lyricism of Jobim's Chega De Saudate, a magical experience! The angular lines flow with the ease of a season pro and yet this is only his second album.
Dechter's original, Together and Apart, is a reflective even melancholic piece - underpinned as it is by soulful arco bass from Clayton - that seems to gradually emerge like a Night-Blooming Jasmine blossoming in the shades of evening before slowly returning to whence it came from.
It's back in the groove for Takin' it There with some driving piano from Hendelman who is a force to be reckoned with on this disc. Hamilton has an impressive drum work out on this one. YouTube.
George Coleman's Father is another lyrical piece that seems tailor-made for Dechter who sails throw the changes effortlessly - I say "Effortlessly" but think of the hours of practice he must have put in to get to this level! Likewise Hendelman whose solo is also on the money.
I'm running out of superlatives, it's that kind of disc, suffice to say John Clayton's Grease For Graham keeps the momentum going with some down home blues, Lee Morgan's Hocus Pocus - full of bop licks that have never dated and kick-ass drumming from Hamilton - Come Rain or Come Shine, Harold Arlen was possibly the most blues orientated of the American composers and Dechter gets to the heart of the tune and finds harmonic depths the composer himself probably didn't dream existed!
To conclude, an original by Dechter, Amanda, and Cole Porter's Every Time we Say Goodbye (End of a Love Affair's in there too).
An emotional ending to a lovely disc.
Lance.
CD Review - Graham Dechter: Takin' it There. Available from Amazon Sept. 18.

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