Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Burak Bedikyan Leap of Faith Steeplechase 2015

 An elegant yet diverse exploration of melodic possibilities. Burak Bedikyan is one of the finest artists on the horizon.

 Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com

Leap of Faith is a positive reaffirmation that an artist can manipulate melody and take that harmonic road less traveled while moving past the technical pretentiousness that have so many improvisational musicians stuck in an overly pretentious rut. Back after the critically acclaimed Circle of Life. The band works with a lyrical sense of purpose, the synergy of lyrical thought is relaxed yet ever changing. The organic heartbeat of Leap of Faith alone is enough to have this release already hovering as a "Best of 2015" effort.

While meter and dynamics morph into a deceptively subtle hybrid of both his Turkish / Armenian heritage and the music we refer to as jazz in the United States, nothing is predominant as the music flows with an ease and swing that moves past random categorization. These compositions are more compared to harmonic conversations as each member has valuable contributions. Bassist Ron McClure may well be the most underrated bassist working today while drummer Billy Drummond remains in the pocket helping to conduct the rhythmic train. Chris Cheek plays both tenor and soprano and fits hand in glove with Bedikyan's musical direction.

 This most formidable of 4tets is literally flawless as Leap of Faith takes the piano quartet and turns the tables into a working band sound for the next generation. All originals, no covers and nothing is "phoned in" for an recording. Wonderful highlights include "Ashes to Ashes" and the title number "Leap of Faith." For improvisational music fans there is very little here not to like, flawless.
Tracks: Astral Traveler; Prelude No.1 Birth of Innocence; Homage To A Bud Et Francis; Ashes To Ashes; Leap of Faith; Hydrogen Atom; Prelude No.2 Lonely Planet; The Unspoken; Deir Ez-Zor; Gravity.
Personnel: Burak Bedikyan: Piano; Chris Cheek: Tenor and Soprano Saxophone; Ron McClure: Bass; Billy Drummond.
I Urge You To Check Out: www.burakbedikyan.com - Note This Is Under Construction so this Facebook Address May Be Better For You As You Keep Checking: