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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

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August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

CD Review: Chris Greco Quartet - Trane of Thought


Chris Greco (soprano/tenor sax, flute, clarinet); Brad Rabuchin (guitar); Dean Taba (contrabass); Kendall Kay (drums, congas)
(Review by Les)
Before getting into the detail there are a couple of things worth noting at the outset.  Firstly, whilst this CD is a new release (as of March 2013) the recordings were made in 1994.  Secondly, the use of the word Trane in the title is more a "doffing of the cap" to the Jazz Icon than any reference to the music on this release.  
Chris Greco hails from LA, and is well-schooled in both classical and jazz disciplines (a well-qualified, multi award-winning product of UCLA).  He appears to involve himself in many projects, often simultaneously, and his body of works are now finding the light of day on gwsfourwinds.
This latest release showcases eight compositions by Greco plus the final track Soul Eyes, many of the self-penned numbers having titles linked to the Pleiades star constellation (Sterope, Merope, Maia and Electra being four of the seven stars).
Greco's notoriety in the jazz world is borne largely from his improvisational skills, and if this album's anything to go by this revolves around blowing over a steady groove, as opposed to anything free-er.  It's certainly not wild nor groundbreaking, and whilst it's competent and well played it will suit a certain sort of improv fan who doesn't like matters to get too left field.
From a personal perspective, the first track, Sterope, is certainly my favourite, starting as it does with some atmospheric, free playing before settling into a groove for Greco and Rabuchin to play over.
There are some good moments throughout the album, although the overall impression for me is that it's just a bit safe, perhaps just too much of a laid-back, West Coast feel to it.  Also (and this is down to individual taste), I find Rabuchin's guitar tone to be just a little over-processed.  Decent player, but on this outing his sound's a little too homogenized-LA.
Respect is due to the rhythm section; Taba is solid throughout and Kay shows some real diversity to his playing on both drums and congas.
Nevertheless, this is an interesting album that I'd recommend you borrow rather than buy, and serves as a marker for someone to look out for.  It will be interesting to see (and hear) what Chris Greco's up to these days, and should he come to a place anywhere near you I'd say he's definitely worth a punt for the price of a ticket.
Those interested, please visit http://www.erjn.it/greco.
Trane of Thought released March 19th 2013.
Les.

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