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Garrison Fewell Quintet - City Of Dreams (2001)

Garrison Fewell Quintet - City Of Dreams (2001)

Garrison Fewell Quintet - City Of Dreams (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 303 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 129 Mb | Scans included
Mainstream Jazz, Post-Bop | Label: Splasc(h) Records | # CDH820.2 | 00:55:16


Garrison Fewell Quintet - City Of Dreams (2001)


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Modern jazz date with an all-star New York rhythm section led by internationally award winning guitarist, Garrison Fewell, and featuring Italian saxophonist Tino Tracanna. Original compositions and choice standards by Coltrane, Mal Waldron and Tina Brooks.

"Smooth" is not a word most people like to associate with "jazz." Call it a failure of overzealous marketing. (They've changed terms by now anyway, so we're safe to use it as a compliment.) Guitarist Garrison Fewell has the maturity to appreciate the importance of connecting the dots: fitting ideas together and making them work. His smooth, easygoing style on City of Dreams masks a sophisticated understanding of the jazz vocabulary and ensemble sound. While he mostly steers clear of technical demonstrations, it's clear that he has the skills to get around on the guitar. And when he plays a note, even slurred with three others, you have the sense that he chose it carefully.

Fewell's quintet, assembled pretty much on-the-spot for this recording, have a remarkably intuitive sense of cohesion. They take these tunes-five Fewell originals and three standards-and glide effortlessly from heads to solos and back. The moods vary from the tender lyricism of "Soul Eyes," to the off-kilter Eastern sway of "Afternoon at the Souk," to the cocky strut of "Blues for No Reason." In every situation, pianist George Cables works with the guitarist to help define the group's harmony without crowding out the middle ground. Saxophonist Tino Tracanna delivers solos which craftily embody themes within a shifting cascade of sound. Drummer Jeff Williams can lay back and swing, maintain a delicate simmering bossa nova, or leap in and spur the group onward with a few well-placed hits. But this quintet recording is all about the group sound, connecting the dots, and allowing intuition to guide the flow. Smooth indeed. And that's a good thing.

Review by AAJ STAFF, AllAboutJazz.com

Considering that this session was recorded without any rehearsal, the group sound is considerably polished and tight. Most of the tunes were composed by guitarist Garrison Fewell, who is joined on the front line by Italian saxophonist Tino Tracanna and a very good rhythm section of pianist George Cables, bassist Steve LaSpina, and drummer Jeff Williams. The music swings lightly, usually at a moderate pace, with a somewhat dated feel. Fewell is solidly enmeshed in the bop tradition, and his choice of classic tunes by Tina Brooks ("Theme for Doris"), Mal Waldron ("Soul Eyes"), and John Coltrane ("Naima") meshes nicely with his own. Tracanna has proved himself over and over again as the kind of player who can sit in and blow through almost any changes. Here, he is a strong addition on both soprano and tenor saxophone, blowing smoothly, firmly, and confidently. George Cables is a joy to hear as well, his piano anchoring the supporting rhythm trio, and also adding some fine improvisations. The leader, Garrison Fewell, performs flawlessly on guitar, gliding over the chords effortlessly. In the end, this comes across as a good, if fairly conventional, effort that affords a nice introduction to the abilities of Fewell.

Review by Steve Loewy, Allmusic.com

Berklee faculty member Garrison Fewell disproves the notion that teachers can't execute on City of Dreams (Splash), which also features saxophonist Tino Tracanna, pianist George Cables, bassist Steve LaSpina and drummer Jeff Williams. Overall, Fewell's playing springs from the mainstream but has an introspective quality that is apparent throughout the program, mainly made up of originals. Fewell's well-crafted compositions feature nice ensemble writing and include two jazz waltzes (the title track and "Waltz for the Lonely One"), a minor blues ("Blues for No Reason"), a rumba/swing hybrid ("Afternoon at the Souk") and a bossa ("Girl With the Groovy Hips"). Throughout, his primarily single-note oriented work generally is smooth, swinging and well phrased. No barriers broken here; just fine playing and music, which is enough.

Review by Jim Ferguson, JazzTimes.com

Garrison Fewell Quintet - City Of Dreams (2001)


Tracklist:

01. City Of Dreams (6:24)
02. Girl With The Groovy Hips (4:56)
03. Naima (7:15)
04. Blues For No Reason (5:41)
05. Afternoon At The Souk (7:06)
06. Soul Eyes (8:18)
07. Waltz For The Lonely One (7:20)
08. Theme For Doris (8:16)


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