Josh Moshier & Mike Lebrun

Joy Not Jaded

oa2 22057

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

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Young jazz tends to go one of two directions in common form -- it can hold strictly to playing through classic ideas as the players get the music of the greats ingrained into them, or it can spin wildly out of control as the players show off their instrumental mastery with little regard for a strong, original melody. The Chicago quartet led by Josh Moshier (on outstanding keys throughout the album) and Mike Lebrun (on sax) takes neither of the standard tacks. Instead, Lebrun and Moshier craft straightforward but clever pieces of melody, then use the band as a whole to ornament heavily around the themes. The result is a surprisingly coherent sound, with clear and intermingling parts, strong solos, and repeating motifs that let the full ensemble shine together. Each performer shows a fair mastery over his instrument, but the key in Joy Not Jaded is instead the combinations of players -- Lebrun's sax with guest guitarist John Moulder in "The Second Handers," the handoffs between Robert Meier's bass and Moshier's turns on the Rhodes. It's an excellent album, especially for a debut effort. There's plenty more to come from this group if it keeps developing along the same lines that it already has.






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