Dan Cavanagh

Heart of the Geyser

oa2 22090

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Tim Willcox, Jazz Society of Oregon

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Fans of Brad Mehldau might enjoy this album, which starts off with the groovy 7/4 "Josephine," which Cavanagh admits is sort of a "Tom Petty meets Brad Mehldau" tune. While Cavanagh doesn't have the technical proficiency of Mehldau (who does?), he makes up for it with beautiful writing and spacious comping and blowing. The only negative aspect of the recording is the piano sound, which seems to be a bit bright and brittle. I wouldn't blame this on Cavanagh's touch, but rather on the instrument itself. Turning down the treble on my amplifier helped mitigate some of the brightness.

Bassist Linda Oh contributes some wonderfully subtle and inventive solos to the session, becoming the standout with her adeptness as both a spark and sponge for the musical ideas of Cavangh and drummer Joe McCarthy, who shines here too, keeping a tight rein on the time while allowing the music to breathe.

Oh's bass is showcased most of all on Cavanagh's arrangement of Chopin's beautiful Prelude No. 4. She takes both the melody and first solo with perfect intonation, tone and pacing. She is definitely someone to keep your eyes on in the future. Aside from the Chopin, the only other non-original on the session is a quick take on Chick Corea's blues, "Matrix." While the tune allows the musicians to relax and stretch in a way the other material doesn't, it seems a little out of place in this otherwise ethereal set. Cavanagh himself contributes the short and beautiful solo, "Londonberry Air," to close.






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