Scenes

...but not heard

origin 82657

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Chris Lunn, Ancient Victorys

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This is Scenes' fifth recording by major NW jazz musicians and includes the owner of Origin's highly successful recording company, John Bishop, on drums. All the songs were penned by the musicians, starting off with the "C Minor Waltz" that has the author, Hans Teuber, on lyrical sax working above the Stowell warm guitar dance lines and the major voice of Jeff Johnson, one of the most lyrical bass players you will ever hear. Just listen to the solo on "Nanti Glow," a Stowell original, where he slides, dives, curls, as Stowell touches a bit of a bluesy mood. Teuber walks in with lazy blues warmth, and this is a nice jazz discussion with the listener. They can take some avant note sequences and then walk you right back in. They just wrap you up and bring you into the song. "Fast" is another Teuber composition starting with some Bishop percussion and bass, and then adds a touch of Stowell, and Teuber gives his little flash line. Here, the music lines dart out, reach, and recede. Stowell solos with rapid, warm, full and complex lines. "Spectrum," composed by Stowell, has Teuber establishing sax lines with answers by Stowell that are quiet and lovely. All four wrote "Dream," with sax opening in a slightly swinging jazz mood with touches of the bass, drums, and guitar running with him. Each builds up a bit in the joyous, easy feel, but not so simple playing lines. Lovely warm, expressive tune that reminded me a bit of Gerry Mulligan's Quartet days of the 50s. Swings joyfully and mightily. "Old Fellow" is a Teuber piece beginning with percussion with a soft solo, little raps, quiet bursts. This releases into a swinging thematic statement by Teuber on flute. The flute-guitar voicing is warm and together. It is like a narrow river hey travel together. This moves to a lyrical Jeff Johnson bass solo. Johnson is always talking with his bass in this kind of setting. He writes great songs for singers, and I have always wanted to hear a CD of just his songs being sung. This might have been inspired by the song "Old Folk" and has the talking lyricism of that song and a relaxed undertone to make it work. Stowell's "Swedish Bingo" closes with Stowell and Teuber's sax talking in accessible but a bit angular darts. Stowell bites a bit harder than usual on the guitar line, as the bass counterpoints, and soon another line comes from Teuber. They work off each other and yet give you the feel they are wandering on their own at the same time, a kind of controlled musical scramble. Very focused, well written, and played collection of original tunes. Jewell case contains eight-panel booklet with pictures and credits plus a detailed history of how this group came together, which also includes that the Scenes first recording was the first on John Bishop's label. Lots of history here including hearing Stowell and Friesen in 1980, the old open music format at Prosito's club in Tacoma, and how the band came together...Another superb Origin release.






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