Chris Amemiya & Jazz Coalescence

In the Rain Shadow

oa2 22101

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MUSIC REVIEW BY George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

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This all-Seattle group is dedicated to the bebop tradition and they explore it with great vigor and solid musicianship. Amemiya, a new name to me, has done his homework and finds his muse in the shadows of Curtis, J. J. and other revered bone bopsters. The name I know best in this quintet is Jay Thomas, a longtime standout Seattle cat who plays nearly everything, but settles in on trumpet and flugelhorn. Thomas is right at home in this setting. The group is completed by Travis Ranney, alto and tenor saxes, John Hansen, piano, Jon Hamar, bass, and Steve Korn, drums. The guys open with an ancient warhorse, “Memories of You.” But not the one you remember. This “memory” is clad in new, bright, shrink-free, in-your-face bebop. It’s a sizzling opener! The other standard on the date is an old Doris Day hit, “Secret Love.” Thomas re-harmonizes it ,and it’s no secret that the result is invigorating. “Bolivia,” Cedar Walton’s classic, is the other familiar offering. The quintet cooks it up, that’s for sure. The originals also feature extra-fine ensemble playing where something called melody is still important. I certainly hope that we’ll hear more from Amemiya & Jazz Coalescence.






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