John Stowell | Michael Zilber

Shot Through With Beauty

origin 82592



MUSIC REVIEW BY Kyle O'Brien, Jazz Society of Oregon

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Stowell is one of Portland's most refined jazz guitarists. He is versatile and sophisticated, along with being highly inventive. But instead of being brash like many bold improvisers, his persona is controlled and tempered. Here, with like-minded saxophonist Michael Zilber, bassist John Shifflett and drummer Jason Lewis, Stowell is well within his element. Playing covers, like a nice mellow version of Dizzy Gillespie's "Alma," or a modern version of Kenny Wheeler's "Kayak," along with original tunes and a couple by John Scofield, Stowell and company create a sound that is both warm and creative. The improvisations, as on Zilber's "Cold Rain Warm Heart," push the boundaries of melodicism, searching and squealing, but never veering out of control. Plus, Stowell's honeyed guitar sound brings a pleasing richness throughout. This never gets "out" enough to be avant-garde, though it courts its jagged edges, especially on Stowell and Zilber's "Lost and Found." But it's accessible throughout.






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