Thursday, June 19, 2008

Michael Dease - Clarity

Michael Dease, trombone
Brandon Lee, trumpet
Sharel Cassity, alt sax
Kris Bowers, piano
Matthew Felder, bass
Marion Felder, Kenneth Salters, Mark Whitfield, Jr, drums

are playing Dease's compositions

One 4 Steve
Lullaby for Rita
Mixed Feelings
You Dig?
Top of the Morning
Speak Low

the last being by Kurt Weill. I don't know if I'd call this album Clarity, because this untrained listener often hears more improv and modern, often smooth, jazz than clear melodies. But I would call this cd Good. The clarity of Dease's trombone is certainly strong, and not overdone. He knows to give his buddies equal time. That's what I always liked about Burt Reynolds. It takes a master to surround himself with great supporting talent. And the fact that Dease has won SO many jazz performing awards, topped off with graduating from Juilliard, doesn't give him a Madonna complex at all.

The songs are long, giving you ample time of pulling the musical covers over you and simmering. This isn't really smooth jazz, more like the cool stuff. Take the title song. Subtle piano with pauses of swooning horn harmonies, a minimum of drum (certainly not in the foreground), all making for a relaxing float in the pool some autumn afternoon.

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