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John Stowell & Michael Zilber Quartet - Basement Blues (2016)

Artist: John Stowell & Michael Zilber Quartet
Title: Basement Blues
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: Origin Records
Genre: Jazz
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 53:54
Total Size: 128 MB

1. Basement Blues (5:17)
2. Nobody Else But Me (5:46)
3. Stowell In Heart (5:08)
4. Stay Right There (5:05)
5. Violin Memory (4:42)
6. Later That Night (5:52)
7. I Wish (4:33)
8. Have Yourself A Vince Guaraldi Xmas (4:39)
9. Stowell Mates (8:27)
10. Very Early (4:21)

Basement Blues is the third Origin Records CD offering from the John Stowell/Michael Zilber Quartet, following Shot Through With Beauty (2009) and Live Beauty, (2013). Guitarist Stowell's approach is distinctive-silvery chords and pinprick single notes that reverberate from the rafters. Saxophonist Zilber is a flawless, soulful technician on soprano and tenor saxophones. Bassist John Shifflett and drummer Jason Lewis are perfection in the supportive rhythm rolls. It all comes together in a cohesive set that is probing and cerebral and laid-back approachable.

The set features two classics: Jerome Kern's "Nobody Else but Me" and the closer, pianist Bill Evans' "Very Early." All other tunes are originals from the pens of Stowell or Zilber, with one group-written composition, "Later that Night," that-with such a groove-doesn't sound like a free improvisation, though it may well be.

The disc's title tune, written by Zilber, opens the set on a reflective note. Zilber is exquisite on soprano horn, and he adds some almost subliminal piano to the rhythm, a subtle and beautiful sparkle behind Stowell's piquant solo. Jerome Kern's "Nobody Else But Me" is given a playful turn, and "Stowell In Heart," from Zilber's pen, is introspective, wandering, lovely, a somewhat amorphous type of tune that could be mistaken for a Wayne Shorter composition. Stowell's "Violin Memory" features Zilber putting out a robust and gritty sound on tenor sax to contrast with Stowell's effortless grace.

With three disc's now to their credit, the John Stowell/Michael Zilber Quartet has crafted a group sound as individualistic, and as modernistic and compelling, as any out there. ~Dan McClenaghan

Personnel: Michael Zilber: saxophones, piano; John Stowell: guitars; John Shifflett: bass; Jason Lewis: drums.

John Stowell & Michael Zilber Quartet - Basement Blues (2016)
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Tags: Stowell, Michael, Zilber, Quartet, Basement

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