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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Thursday, February 06, 2020

CD Review: Jure Pukl - Broken Circles

Jure Pukl (tenor/soprano saxes/bass clarinet); Joel Ross (vibes); Charles Altura (guitar); Matt Brewer (bass); Kweku Sumbry (drums).
(Review by Lance).

The sound of surprise is ever with us in jazz, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. This definitely falls into the former category. So where is the surprise? That burning question is answered by the fact that Pukl failed to register in either of the DownBeat polls. I hold my hand up and admit that I didn't vote for him either as, until this rather excellent CD I was unfamiliar with his work. However, gigging around the NYC scene, I'd have thought he'd have built up a following. That will surely change with this album.
Pukl blows tenor like as if Dexter was still around. Hard bop, Blue Note sound. Driving, striving - Art Blakey would have been knocking on Pukl's door the moment the Jazz Messengers' tenor chair was up for grabs.


Remember Gloomy Sunday? Originally recorded by Artie Shaw, Charlie Barnet and Billie Holiday it was subtitled The Suicide Song. Pukl blows bass clarinet and, even without the words, the feeling of depression is still there. This isn't surprising as the leader describes the music as being inspired by current events both social and political (Ed. Amen!)

Fortunately, the album isn't all doom and gloom and if you choose to listen to it without thinking of the social overtones (I know that's defeating the object of the exercise) you may just find it as good modern/contemporary jazz.

How could it not be? Joel Ross pulled 648 votes in the vibes category of the aforementioned poll and the critics named him as numero uno in the Rising Star Vibes listing. Matt Brewer also made it on the lists and Altura and Sumbry surely will after this hits the street and the jazz jocks give it some airplay.

Five stars!
Lance
Available Feb. 21 on Whirlwind WR4751.

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