Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jeff Denson Quartet, Concentric Circles

Jeff Denson is a bassist, composer and bandleader to watch, or rather to listen to. His latest effort is a quartet made up of members of his trio and Electreo, an album entitled Concentric Circles (Ridgeway Records RRCD003). This is acoustic, progressive jazz marked by Jeff's involved contemporary compositions (plus Duke's "I Got it Bad") and the decidedly forward leaning improvisations of bassoonist Paul Hanson, pianist Dan Zemelman, Jeff on bass in arco or pizzicato modes, plus the very alive rhythm team of Jeff and drummer Alan Hall.

The music is carefully and nicely arranged and the swinging nature of the band is in no way impeded by the intricacies of the music.

Jeff sings on this too and he's very good, rangy and impeccably phrased.

One should listen closely to what Jeff is up to on bass, both in ensemble and solo contexts. The bassoon work of Hansen and piano of Zemelman most definitely add to it all as well.

This is contemporary jazz that is very well wrought and expressive without exactly falling into the avant camp. But neither is it the least bit cliche, but always thoroughly musical and modern.

I must suggest this release for anyone looking for something new and unusual. It is a great listen.

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