Jamie Stewardson, guitar – Jhaptal (with Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Alexei Tsiganov, vibes; John Hebert, bass; George Schuller, drums) – Fresh Sound Records

by | Jul 26, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Jamie Stewardson, guitar – Jhaptal  (with Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Alexei Tsiganov, vibes; John Hebert, bass; George Schuller, drums – Fresh Sound Records FSNT 233, ***1/2 [www.freshsoundrecords.com]:

An interesting session of all-original tunes by and featuring guitarist Stewardson, who was attracted to jazz by listening to the Mahavishnu orchestra and Return to Forever. His performing career started with a cruise ship job backing such acts as The Temptations and Petti Page. Needless to say, on his own CD he’s in entirely different company.  His bassist is co-leader of a trio exploring the music of Bela Bartok, for example.

The tunes are challenging and rather intellectual listening, mostly in a non-tonal melodic area though not raucously so. The Indian title demonstrates Stewardson’s interest in the music of that country (jhaptal means a ten-beat rhythmic cycle). Other influences are Schoenberg’s serial approach, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics.  Saxist Malaby seems to be a good improviser, but on unfamiliar original non-melodic music such as this it’s difficult to tell what is written out and what is improvisation. The instrumental front line of tenor, guitar and vibes makes for some unusual and pleasing timbres.

Tracks: T Can Shuffle, Bubbles, Jhaptal, Combinatoriality, Rest Area, Olive Oil, Cruel Traps, Dig Muse, For Dale and  Roberta

 – John Henry

 

Related Reviews