Josh Maxey – Celebration Of Soul – Miles High

Josh Maxey – Celebration Of Soul – Miles High MHR8624, 40:53 ***:

(Josh Maxey – guitar; Brian Charette – organ; Chase Baird – saxophones; Jeremy Nolier – drums; add: Rodney Jones – guitar tracks 3, 5, 6; David Parnell – acoustic guitar tracks 1,7; Michael Cioffero – guitar tracks 1, 7; Brett Parnell – lap steel guitar tracks 1,7)

Josh Maxey is a cerebral guitarist who is willing to challenge jazz conventions, with his own vision of the music, which may not prove to be “everyone’s cup of tea” as the saying goes. Nevertheless Celebration Of Soul  will undoubtedly find an audience that is willing to climb on board the train of this venturesome guitarist.

Working with a cohort of like-minded musicians, each of whom has participated in the previous nine releases, they know and understand how to connect to each other. All the compositions are originals by Maxey and generally do not possess the traditional jazz music structure. However upon close listening, they all exhibit a rhythmic distinction that is both bold yet cool.

There are ten tracks on this session of which seven are original numbers, and three others are radio mixes of those selections. The latter are simply edits of the lengthier versions, and not true remixes and can be easily skipped. The main section of the program is bracketed by “Brooklyn Sunrise” and “Colorado Sunset”. Both of these titles have an experimental character along the lines of a melodic voyage. The title track “Celebration Of Soul” has Maxey’s guitar in the forefront of the melody, with support from Brian Charette on organ in an extended passage, and picked up by Chase Baird on tenor sax. “Blues For Page” is a swinger but not in the traditional twelve-bar blues form, but rather a hard-bop vein in a gruff but expressive style.

Since this is the final album in a series of ten recordings by the guitarist, Josh Maxey should be congratulated for his perseverance to have his music heard.

TrackList: Brooklyn Sunrise; Celebration Of Soul; Light & Shade; Culmination; Cycles Of Sound; Blues For Page; Colorado Sunset; Cycles Of Sound (Radio Mix); Light& Shade (Radio Mix); Culmination (Radio Mix)

—Pierre Giroux

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