Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Julian Shore Filaments Tone Rogue Records 2012

Julian Shore...Name familiar? It should be as there has been tremendous buzz about the brilliant young artist. Ever see a movie trailer on television only to find out you just saw the best part of the movie? Not here!

Shore creates an incredibly sound scape of lyrically invention and a brilliant ebb and flow within each tune. Julian Shore's Filaments may have just raised the melodic bar for other pianists to follow. Instead of performing as a frustrated percussionist, Shore looks at the piano as a natural if not organic extension of the human voice allowing his keen melodic sense to lead his way down the harmonic path less traveled.

Oh, toss in some stellar talent such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Noah Preminger and the amazing vocals of Alexa Barchini and we are just getting warmed up. What is described as an ethereal collection of tunes with lyrics by Alexa Barchini is setting the standard for a new direction in modern jazz. The compositions of Filaments resemble a beautiful sonic mosaic, each tune a special golden thread of a brilliant display of a keen lyrical sense and dynamic harmonic interplay among his co-conspirators. Shelly Tzarafi is an Israeli-born vocalist that simply adds another layer of texture and a subtle organic quality that give Filaments that three dimensional sonic depth of field.

"Give" is one highlight on this stellar release opening with a two part vocal line that dials itself down to allow Kurt Rosenwinkel relaxed swing and a three part horn section this saxophone player is totally digging! There is a unique all most ambient quality that one might assume is a carry over from the classic Rosenwinkel sound but instead it may be more Shore taking the harmonic qualities of Rosenwinkel and running with them. "Venus" is but another highlight that showcases perhaps THE most under appreciated tenor player in the business in Noah Preminger. Within this recording of all original material there are three Shore tunes on this release mentioned with perhaps "Made Very Small" a particular gem with a wistful vocal serving as perfect counter point to Shore's minimalistic dynamic. An introspective tune of warmth and feeling that adds character and fits hand in glove with the ebb and flow of Filaments.

Julian Shore has just raised the bar for modern jazz, a bar some artists have insisted on limboing under. An absolutely exquisite recording...One of the best for 2012.

Tracks: Grey Light, Green Lily; Made Very Small; Big Bad World; Whisper; Give; I Will If You Will; Misdirection/Determined; Like A Shadow; Venus; Whisper (Reprise).

Personnel: Julian Shore: piano; Alex Barchini: vocals (2,3,4,5,7,8); Shelly Tzarafi: vocals (1,3,4,5,8); Kurt Rosenwinkel: guitar (1,2,5); Jeff Miles: guitar: (3,4,8); Phil Donkin: bass; Tommy Crane: drums; Kurt Ozane: acoustic guitar, dobro (4,10); Noah Preminger: tenor saxophone (9); Godwin Louis: alto sax (5); Billy Buss: trumpet (5); Andrew Hadro: bariton sax (5).