Bug – The Gadfly – Origin

by | Nov 29, 2009 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Bug – The Gadfly – Origin 82543, 57:45 ****1/2:

(Peter Epstein – alto sax; Jeff Miley – guitar; James Miley – piano, Rhodes; Roger Shew – bass; Brian Hamada – drums)

Multi-reed master Peter Epstein (exclusively on alto sax here), who conceptualized and brought to life one of the great discs of the new century, The Invisible, anchors a very attractive jazz-rock group featuring the Miley brothers, Jeff and James. Long, loping melodic lines, intuitive ensemble interaction, striking soling, and gorgeous colorations set this music apart from run-of-the-mill indie jazz offerings.

All compositions are by Jeff and/or James Miley, who have a knack for showcasing beguiling melodic statements in snaky, angular settings. Jeff Miley, drawing from a wealth of contemporary jazz guitar stylists including John Scofield (“Gadfly”), Peter Bernstein (“The Ballad of Ned Flanders”), Kurt Rosenwinkel (“Dark Matter”), Pat Metheny in his more darkly expressive moments (“Kaganu”), Steve Erquiaga (“Tumble”), and Mike Stern (“Wishful Thinking”), sets the tone for this highly appealing music. I especially like the doubled leads of Jeff Miley and Peter Epstein (on “Gadfly” and “Wishful Thinking”) which express both precision and passion. The gentle ballad, “One,” nicely caps off an intriguing and thought-provoking set of remarkably attractive independent jazz. Look for big things from this highly gifted jazz-rock ensemble.

TrackList:
Gadfly
Invernessence
The Ballad of Ned Flanders
Dark Matter
Kaganu
Tumble
The Return of Ned Flanders
Wishful Thinking
One

– Jan P. Dennis

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