Geoff Stradling

Les is Mo'

origin 82472

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

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On his Origin Records debut, Los Angeles pianist Geoff Stradling makes short work of showing why he was picked by the label. While the focus of Origin is generally on Northwest artists, they have some fair leniency if the music is good, and will pick up exceptional players that might not have been heard before otherwise. In the case of Stradling, you've probably heard him at some point in the past with his performances built in everywhere from Univision to Entertainment Tonight to Jane's Addiction. Here though, he isn't writing a jingle or theme. He's going through his roots and influences in jazz, and with a very solid accompanying band he lets loose on a whole range of styles. There's a clear Latin influence in a number of the tracks here, jumping from Cuba to Brazil and back regularly. There are also touches of postbop and soul jazz sprinkled liberally throughout, with multiple homages to the greats in the title track (Les McCann being the ėLes') and half of the piano solos reminiscent in some way of Bill Evans. In particular, You Don't Know That shows off a good deal of Evans' style, and an even greater deal of Stradling's chops. The numbers here are nearly all original, and the compositions are nearly flawless. Stradling is an excellent player, with an excellent band, and some fine composing abilities. Absolutely worth a listen.






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