John Bishop with Jeff Johnson, Rick Mandyck, John Stowell

Scenes

origin 82390

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Jason Bivins, Cadence

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"Scenes" features a cool-toned quartet, playing lanquid post-bop with traces of the Scofield/Lovano group (they even cover an earlier Sco tune "The Beatles"). Each player is harmonically and lyrically fluent, and the group empathy is good. Their chemistry is especially audible on the long Tyner piece, "Blues On The Corner," thought the whole album is a cohesive and well-done affair. Mandyck has the kind of grainy tone and fleet fingers that suit this music, able to work out quick vertical runs while also showing the sense to luxuriate in a single rounded note when that's called for. Stowell plays with a ringing guitar tone that not only contrasts nicely with the sax but creates its own kind of lyric space (close, in some respects, to John Abercrombie's playing). The fine organic bass and drums round out a nice group, playing confident (if not particularly challenging) music. Among the other highlights are the floating lyric piece "Psalm," with its tasty bass solo, and the exploratory "Rainy States." The wide open version of "Nefertiti," I must confess, wasn't completely convincing to me. But overall I found this to be a satisfying album.






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