US - California - Full Moon 40 - 01/21/00
Upside Out Records
Like any musical style, jazz has many branches. On one extreme there is fusion,
with each musician going their own way and often creating difficult harmonies; on
the other there is classical jazz, more refined, though often less challenging. Where
fusion tends to overindulge, more traditional jazz tends to be too restrained at
times. Happily, there is a middle ground for the average listener.
Here, on a collection of straight-ahead jazz, Robert Kyle has brought in
something too often missing from contemporary jazz: fun. There is a
playfulness here, especially on tracks such as Blues 4 Dr. Foot and Mr.
G's Wild Ride, that makes you want to snap your fingers and bop about the
living room, tapping your toes and traumatizing your cat. And this
liveliness is pleasantly balanced with ballads, such as Three Angels and
the closing Sweet Life.
Featuring Jason Harnell on drums, Tomas Gargano on bass, Llew Matthews on piano
and Robert Kyle on various saxophones, this album is recorded in such a way that
the music doesn't sound overly processed and layered but rather fresh and alive, as
if the quartet where sitting in the corner of the room jamming. Another nice touch
is the accent of guitar and harmonica on certain tracks, neither instrument overly
represented in jazz.
So if you're not into the disharmonious sounds of fusion, but find classical
jazz too refrained, here's an album that will get your shoulders swaying or your
toes tapping and remind you that people are playing these instruments - very talented
people. For more information, please visit Robert Kyle's site.
Copyright © 2000 J. A. Gilbert