Friday, October 7, 2011

JC Stylles Exhilaration & Other States Motema 2011


JC Stylles music comes from a gutteral place, deep from within. This is not music taught, its something felt and the translation of "style" touches the soul and sets your hair on fire all at the same time.
This is good.

One of the most impressive debut releases of the year finds guitarist JC Stylles crushing a fascinating mix of tunes that range from Stevie Wonder and R. Kelly to Cole Porter and Billie Holiday. Organ trios and slightly larger organ ensembles have been turning out some stellar releases this year but Stylles firmly establishes himself as the leader with Pat Bianchi on organ and Lawrence Leathers on drums. The trio swings hard but with just the right amount of soul to keep things interesting. Chemistry bleeds through your speakers as this trio plays and blends as one harmonious musical train of thought.

The release opens with a blistering "Knucklebean" showcasing Stylles and organ phenom Pat Bianchi while drummer Leathers rides the groove comfortably in the pocket for all its worth. A more straight ahead version of Stevie Wonder's "I Cant Help It" which gained popularity from the Michael Jackson "Off The Wall" album displays Stylles ability to shift musical gears effortlessly. Bianchi is the perfect partner throughout the recording while Leathers swings like a beast. Dialing the intesity back just a touch, Stylles creates a blues infused soulful expression on the Billy Eckstine classic, "I Want To Talk About You." The trio kicks back into high gear with a scorching version of Cole Porter's "Love For Sale." Make no mistake, this is as old school as it gets and it has never sounded better. It is however the wonderful if not slightly eclectic mix of tunes that fit these three musicians perfectly and allow the release to take flight.

Comparisons are made to the guitar styles of George Benson, Pat Martino and perhaps Tal Farlow and while fair and valid make no mistake, Stylles is his own man and swings his own way with an energy that is infectious. Technically proficient and artistically gifted, JC Stylles is a shining star and while the stock market may continue on shaky ground, Stylles musical stock seems to be an arrow pointing straight up!

5 stars! Swing hard or go home! One of the years very best!

A You Tube Treat featuring JC from a 2010 gig in the Big Apple!