Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Adam Baruch, The Soundtrack of My Life (Israel)

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This is the third album by the international quartet co-led by Belgian pianist / composer Bram Weijters and US trumpeter / composer Chad McCullough and including bassist Piet Verbist and drummer John Bishop. The album presents eleven original compositions, eight of which were composed by Weijters and three by McCullough. Two of these tunes are piano-trumpet duets.

The music is modern Jazz, well within the mainstream boundaries, but presents ambitious compositions and excellent performances, well above the "usual" mainstream outings. Beautifully melancholic tunes, obviously of European origin, dominate the proceedings, allowing McCullough to play some heartbreakingly lyrical solos. The rhythm section supports the soloists sympathetically and with obvious empathy and intelligence. Verbist plays some great bass lines and Bishop stays respectfully in the background, gently steering the quartet´s pulse.

During the album´s duration the listener is exposed to different formats, from full quartet, via piano trio passages and intimate duets, which emphasizes the diversity and openness of this music and the quartet as an ensemble. Weijters plays mostly the acoustic piano, but also uses electric keyboards most effectively. Overall the level of the performances is first class and the entire album is an exquisite listening experience from start to end.

This album is a typical example of contemporary mainstream Jazz, which can be interesting and even moving, in contrast to most other recordings in that idiom. Avoiding clichés and banality these musicians shoe us hoe it should be done! Hats off Gentlemen!






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