Monday, April 28, 2014

Jim Butler Group Post Cards From The World 2014

 
Jim Butler is simply another reason that San Francisco is a thriving jazz community! An artist deserving of far wider recognition!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
A lyrical journey that runs from Stockholm to Bangkok, yeah it has been done before but not this well. A straight ahead global look at improvisational music is a daunting task at best, Post Cards From The World is an engaging journey with the conceptual intent of a cultural unification through a shared vision of travels and inspirations acquired through Butler's personal journeys. A formidable 4tet functioning with a unified lyrical sense of purpose embraces Butler's vision while each has their own room to engage in the melodic conversation put forth on this inspired and inspiring release.
 
So why so good? Simple...the idea and "global journey" is nothing new but to have a quartet work this approach while side stepping the inevitable harmonic disconnects that so many of their contemporaries have fallen prey to is an impressive feat to say the least. Butler is as technically proficient as he is artistically gifted, strong tone and a solid technique yet with the ability to shift dynamics on the fly have his game on par with some of his major label contemporaries. Covers are few but incredibly noteworthy and solid with "Tin Tin Deo" and "Star Dust" leading the way. "Bangkok At Night" conjures up the excitement of the exotic locale and the Gulf of Thailand while "California Song" embraces a more post modern contemporary vibe while losing anything in artistic integrity.
 
San Francisco is one of the new hot spots for improvisational music and Independent artists like Jim Butler are the reason why. The rhythm section of Sam Grobe-Heintz, Andrew Thomas Peck and Marshall Gentry are on par with any of their contemporaries working the Big Apple mecca on the east coast. Butler takes the title of legit jazz triple threat one step further as instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer. One of the top Independent releases for 2014. Stellar!
Tracks: Road To Mombasa; Invitation; Eastern Samba; Tin Tin Deo; Sunrise In Stockholm; Afternoon Falling On Nairobi; Bangkok At Night; Driftin'; California Song; Kandahar; Star Dust.
 
Personnel: Jim Butler: Alto Saxophone; Sam Grobe-Heintz; Andrew Thomas Peck: Bass; Marshall Gentry: Drums.