Scenes

Destinations

origin 82736

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Steve Wyzard, Amazon

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Scenes have now released six albums for Seattle's Origin Records, and one doesn't have to look too far to find descriptions such as "introspective", "impressionistic", "haunted", "ethereal", "Sunday afternoon jazz", etc when their music is being discussed. I won't short-change 2017's Destinations album by calling it "more of the same", but would much rather praise the timeless consistency of their sound and performances. Guitarist John Stowell, bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer John Bishop may not elicit instant name recognition, but are all absolute masters of their craft. Stowell's wistful melodicism will remind many listeners of the late great John Abercrombie, while the rock-solid Johnson has almost become Origin's house bassist, much the way Arild Andersen, Palle Danielsson, and Gary Peacock did for various times at ECM Records.

The titles consist of seven originals and three covers, including a scintillating version of Miles Davis's "Solar". Only "T.I.O.", a wayward free improv piece that sticks out like a sore thumb, prevents this album from attaining a fifth star. This is not to condemn the band's improvising: the second-to-last "Simple Pleasures" is this album's most beautiful moment among a very crowded field. And while the Pacific Northwest will probably never be considered one of the world's great jazz centers, this band, this album, and this label suggest it is not to be ignored or overlooked either.






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