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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CD Review: Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast - Settle.

Ken Thomson (alt/bs.clt.); Russ Johnson (tpt); Nir Felder (gtr0; Adam Armstrong (bs); Fred Kennedy (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Settle arrived on the doormat along with a zillion other CDs and missed the cut. However, I've eventually caught up with it (the other zillion -1 will have to wait awhile longer). I'm glad I did get around to listening to it - I think! It's certainly an unusual disc and almost impossible to pigeon-hole - or to put in any hole!
Imagine you turn up for a blind date with a girl who's not a stunning beauty. You maybe go for a drink or a coffee whilst at the same time trying to think up an excuse to escape.
However, you talk, the conversation flows. She may be a dog but she's an intelligent one. She smiles at one of your jokes - her mouth may be weak and her figure less than Greek - but you like her sense of humour and you're no longer looking for the exit and she's been transformed from a dog to a cuddly kitten.
The evening draws to a close and, as you share a goodnight kiss, you say "Will I see you again?" and she replies "I do a mean breakfast."
From the above you'll gather that Settle didn't hit me with a full frontal acceptance but, like anything worth having, built up from early reservations  to an appreciative understanding of the whole and one that incorporates many facets of today's jazz.
There's dissonance, but it doesn't jar. Abstract moments that are a sort of reflective beauty.
Through it all Thomson's compositions guide the way and all five musicians contribute equally both as soloists and in contrapuntal passages that are almost like a Bach fugue.
Thomson may be the best jazz bass clarinettist I've heard.
Well worth checking out.
Lance.

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