Artist: Avishai Cohen
Catalogue Number: RD 4607
Release Date: 5th May 2008
03. Lo Baiom Velo Balyla
04. Pinzin Kinzin
05. Puncha Puncha
06. Eleven Wives
07. Gently Disturbed
08. Ever Evolving Etude
09. Variations In G Minor
11. Structure in Emotion
Avishai Cohen - Bass
Shai Maestro - Piano
Mark Guilliana - Drums
"Gently Disturbed" New Sound and Vibe, original compositions backed by this Award Winning Power with Vision Trio.
Avishai Cohen, one of the most innovative bassists and composers today, who has been called a "jazz visionary of global proportions" by Down Beat magazine, will release Gently Disturbed, his first release with his newly configured trio, from May on his own Razdaz Recordz label.
This is story telling from beginning to end, and stories is serious fun for Cohen..... Karsten Mutzelfeldt ' Journalist/ Broadcaster.
While to outward appearances the trio would seem to be the standard piano-bass-drum formula, the music they've created on Gently Disturbed is far from the standard jazz trio repertoire.
Featuring nine original compositions (written either by Cohen or by the trio collaboratively) including one traditional Israeli song, Gently Disturbed is an amalgamation of melody and groove, complexity and simplicity that nearly redefines the concept of jazz.
With the departure of long-time pianist Sam Barsh,Cohen has slightly reconfigured his trio with the addition of Israeli pianist Shai Maestro. Since Cohen is an accomplished pianist in his own right, and has performed on bass with such acclaimed jazz pianists as Danilo Perez, Brad Mehldau and of course Chick Corea, and because the previous keyboard players in his bands (Sam Barsh and Jason Lindner) have been exceptional, it is even more striking to note that Maestro is just reached 21 years old. Rounding out the trio is drummer the brilliant Mark Guiliana, who has been playing and touring with Cohen since 2003 and who Modern Drummer Readers Poll 2007 cited as "one of the best up-and-coming stars of today's drumming scene."
Cohen's releases on Razdaz, which he founded with manager Ray Jefford in 2003, have consistently earned critical approbation, beginning with 2003's Lyla, followed by At Home in 2005, and through to 2006's crittically acclaimed Continuo then followed by last year's Double Live CD/DVD release, As Is - Live At The Blue Note. Razdaz / Half Note.
Avishai Cohen relocated to New York 1992 after studying classical/jazz piano and bass in his native Israel, (Music & Arts Academy and with Maestro Michael Klinghoffer) and in the United States (in St. Louis).
After attending both the New School and Mannes College of Music in New York City, and studying with bassist Andy Gonzalez, Cohen performed in a Latin jazz band that included Abe Rodriguez and Ray Santiago. As a result of this experience, combined with his deep understanding and love of Latin music and jazz, Cohen got the call to join pianist Danilo Perez's trio. In 1996, he left Perez' group to become a founding member of Chick Corea's new sextet, Origin, followed by Corea�s New Trio.
Since 2002 Cohen has been performing worldwide solely with his own groups and musical projects with award winning success and high praise from all that witness and hear his music.
Cohen currently resides in Tel- Aviv.
The "Gently Disturbed" Trio will tour Europe and USA throughout 2008- 2009.
By Sebastien Helary for www.npr.org
Avishai Cohen is a uniquely profound bassist. His music is refined yet exciting; his technique is percussive and rhythmic, and his compositions move at a furious pace. To me, his music conveys a magical feeling of freedom: it's like cruising the ocean on a sailboat or looking into the eyes of a really beautiful girl. OK, I'm getting a little carried away, but some of his tunes literally bring tears to my eyes. Avishai also writes very moving and beautiful music, and it's always a joy to listen to him. All of his RazDaz recordings are excellent, but I would recommend Gently Disturbed above all. Definitely worthwhile.
Avishai Cohen Trio | Razdaz Recordz (2008)
By Andrew Velez
Acclaimed Israeli bassist (and accomplished pianist) Avishai Cohen brings an impressive list of credits to his first outing with a new trio. Cohen's work defies easy categorization. On bass he's performed with Brad Mehldau and Chick Corea. The long list of musicians he has accompanied on piano includes Bobby McFerrin, Roy Hargrove, Paquito D'Rivera and Nnenna Freelon, which suggests something about his range. Further still, he has performed concert works with the London and Israeli Philharmonics.
So what does the music of his newly reconfigured trio sound like? Featuring eight original compositions (written either by Cohen or by the trio collaboratively) and one traditional Israeli song, Gently Disturbed is a blend of melody, groove, complexity and simplicity that is beyond definition. The opening tune, �Seattle,� begins with a bucolic piano interlude by Shai Maestro that is very gradually augmented by Mark Guiliana's brushes. What seems to be almost a chamber piece gradually shifts to Latin-style melody and rhythm as Cohen joins in. With a subtle ease, the pastoral evolves into something sensual.
The title tune begins with a dark and repetitious series of bass notes. Think shades of Ravel meet Philip Glass. The mood is lulling and just at the edge of ominous. If where we're going is uncertain, it is about the journey. What follows immediately is �The Ever Evolving Etude.� The trio kicks the mood up to vibrant as Bach goes mucho mambo. Although they sound nothing like the Modern Jazz Quartet, like MJQ, their sophisticated ways tantalize and require attentive, open ears.
Visit Avishai Cohen Trio on the web.
Avishai Cohen Trio at All About Jazz.
Track listing: Seattle; Chutzpann; Lo Baiom Velo Balyla; Pinzin Kinzin; Puncha Puncha; Eleven Wives; Gently Disturbed; The Ever Evolving Etude; Variations in G Minor; Unray; Structure in Emotion.
Personnel: Avishai Cohen: bass; Mark Guiliana: drums; Shai Maestro: piano.
�Teaming with energy, original ideas and virtuosic soloing by the bassist composer, �Gently Disturbed,� is another reason to consider Cohen among the elite bassists on the scene today.� - Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes July 2008
�La presse de la Manche� France July 2008.
�Gently Disturbed is eleven tracks full of power, interpreted by three musicians
at the top of their art.One of the best jazz releases of the year.�
GROOVE MAGAZINE- Sweden. May 2008
(Really really fantastic,wonderful ! ) 5 points of 5
GENTLY DISTURBED Razdaz 4607
Sometimes it is easy for me as a listener and reviewer of so many different genres to get lost regarding all the material offered to me. Everything sounds more or less so similar. The Jazz however has always been a genre with big contrasts, just because the concept is so blurred. And GENTLY DISTURBED shows to be such a pearl worth to be waiting for.
Israel born bassplayer Avishai Cohen, who had a long saty in the States, until 2004, has had several successful tours behind him. He has been a kind of darling of the audience here in Sweden. With his unique style of playing and rythms he never let the listener loose the concentration for a second and to listen to this cd is like a little adventure in itself.
He always chooses the most unexpected ways to the goal and the beautiful blend of modern jazz, sounds from the East, and classical music is heavily swinging.
A big eloge also to the 21-year old piano player Shai Maestro whose brilliant way of playing makes triumphs in songs like Seattle.
This is quite simply jazz at it�s best, melodical, smart, easy, accessible and totally, totally wonderful!
He gained notoriety as a monster bassist back in his days with keyboardist Chick Corea and others of note. Since then, Avishai Cohen has etched out a career, largely framed upon compositional excellence to coincide with his enviable technical faculties. Simply stated, the artist�s truly distinct works, performed within various ensemble configurations, has yielded gobs of praise from critics and the modern jazz populous. Here, Cohen leads a pulsating trio date featuring Israeli pianist Shai Maestro and drummer Mark Guiliana.
Cohen�s comps equate to an unequivocally exciting string of musical events. Armed with massive chops, this trio bounces all over the place yet resides within a cohesive plane, where crisp and punchy rhythms often segue into wavy patterns and complex time signatures. They also fuse Middle Eastern modalities with linear thematic forays, often layered upon melodic hooks.
The unit sports a distinct edge, to nicely contrast the lyrically resplendent motifs set down by Maestro. In addition, the musicians inject a few classical type phrasings into the mix atop bustling jazz vamps, all consummated with a fluid sense of power. At times, they�re apt to soothe the savage beast while also conveying the ability to knock walls down when the occasion arises. (Zealously recommended�) - Glenn Astarita
Avishai Cohen Trio - Gently Disturbed
As I've reviewed Avishai's music here before (and most of us are very familiiar with his music (right?!!) I won't go into too much detail about Avishai's history.
This new album by Avishai (the first, I believe, since his relocation back to Israel) features Mark Guiliana (drms) and the newest member, Shai Maestro (pno). Shai is a wonder... only 21 years old and with such a command and presence with his instrument. Mark is, of course, wonderful (one of my favorite young drummers in the world today). This may be my favorite incarnation of Avishai's trio yet.
This album does have a VERY familiar sound. It is not much of a departure from his past few recordings compositionally speaking, but there is a little more cohesion (in my opinion) with Shai on piano. I always dug Sam Barsh (the last pianist in the trio) but Shai seems to get more inside of the music. There is all of the rhythmic complexity and whimsical playfulness that we've come to expect from Avishai's work, but there seems a depth to the music that I haven't felt entirely since his larger ensemble work.
These three seem to speak together with one singular voice. Much more so than any of Avishai's past smaller ensembles.
I must not forget to mention Avishai's playing here, as well. I had (in the past) been much more of a fan of his writing than his playing (although I always had a ton of respect for Avishai as a player.. I just felt his compositional voice was stronger). I can't pinpoint what's different for me now, but I absolutely love his playing on the recording. Very powerful, but sensitive... free spirited, yet mature... restrained, but technically commanding. Lovely work all around. I love this group!
Avishai Cohen Trio
There is no substitute for experience and the longer Cohen's Trio play together, the more unified they sound and the stronger their collective identity becomes. Cohen, drummer Mark Guiliana and relative newcomer Shai Maestro play and think as one, negotiating the many rhythmic twists in Cohen's unique music with frightening ease. Guiliana is fantastic throughout making everything groove and swing,whether dense or spacious, regardless of time signature and with a truly magnificent sense of touch and dynamics.
Avishai Cohen is currently leading a hugely creative jazz trio, a group that takes the standard piano-bass-drums format and gives it a jolt of brilliance. Gently Disturbed is swinging, refreshing, and a pure joy.
Cohen came on the horizon for most jazz fans as the bass player on Danilo Perez�s sweet 1996 album Panamonk. A year later, Cohen was debuting with Chick Corea�s new acoustic group Origin, and then with the Chick Coreo New Trio. Having arrived in New York in 1992, Cohen was hardly an overnight sensation. But, happily, at the age of 38, Cohen still sounds utterly fresh and contemporary. Gently Disturbed comes, in fact, as a kind of revelation.
First, it�s not easy to create a piano trio record that sounds new. Everything that can be said in this format would seem to be out already, right? Yet here comes a straight-up acoustic trio that manages it, without going to some obvious extreme. The tunes, mostly Cohen originals, set out for fresh territory by avoiding the standard patterns of jazz harmony. They set up original basslines, lock together interesting patterns in the manner of classical music but with much great rhythmic sophistication, and build intensity through counterpoint, repetition and displacement. As a result, the group never gets to sounding typically �funky� or rocking, yet they still generate a great deal of heat. The overall sound, however, is not some kind of effete chamber jazz. Cohen and his band mates have found an ideal middle ground that seems, somehow, unplowed.
Take �Pinzin Kinzin�, a tune collectively composed by the trio. It starts with a simple-sounding bass part in a time signature with 14 quick beats, grouped irregularly. With the entrance of the piano and drums, however, it becomes harder and harder to understand how the group is chopping up those 14 beats into any logical pattern. Just when things may be getting lost, the instruments begin playing in a hard driving unison that seems funky, followed by a jagged divergence. In its own way, the tune �rocks�, except not at all in the way that, say, the Bad Plus uses the energy of rock. This seems more the mark of a group that locks together exceptionally well but is also not afraid to use a generous dose of technique and complication when it serves the energy of the music. If Cohen�s �Chutzpan� hints at his time with Chick Corea in places, it still never seems baroque or overdone. There is a passage toward the end where every instrument is essentially playing a drum solo, and it raises hairs.
Much credit must go to the young pianist Shai Maestro and drummer Mark Guiliana. Maestro is just 21 and, like Cohen, Israeli. His touch is confident but lyrical, audacious but within tradition. On �Umray�, Maestro begins with a touch of impressionism, but he keeps the tune moving and trades improvised passages with the leader with ease. On �Eleven Wives�, however, he plays with rhythmic assertion, dominating the trio with both hands playing emphatically.
Guiliana performs with a combination of melody and explosion. Dig him on �Gently Distrubed�, where he plays behind the steady three-against-four time of Cohen and Maestro in a freewheeling solo of muted bombs and rolls that contrast richly with the simple melody. His work on �Eleven Wives� carries traces of fusion bombast, perhaps, but he is mainly under control on these tunes, playing with intricate ease. On �Structure in Emotion�, for example, Guiliana lays out at first, then merely colors with his cymbals before kicking in with a grooving pattern that remains tight and spare beneath Cohen�s solo.
Part of the freshness of Gently Disturbed comes from the two lovely traditional Israeli songs that the trio converts into compelling jazz balladry. �Lo Baiom Velo Balyla� begins as a mournful sounding waltz for piano, but the trio soon enters to create a sense of graceful movement and swing. The bass solo is rich (with superb recorded sound here and throughout), and the piano solo is even more lyrical, with Maestro at his most Bill-Evans-ish. �Puncha Puncha� has a similar folk directness, using intervals that sound somewhat like the blues, even though they come from a different culture altogether. These tunes allow the trio to get away with some gentleness without sounding icy or stagnant like the recent European trio records on ECM.
The tunes here that sound the most composed, such as �The Ever Evolving Etude�, are still playful. �Etude� works a bit of rhythmic trickiness, with the trio dropping in and out of double-time and the whole band sounding like a carnival even though they are working with passages of great complexity. �Variations in G Minor� is somewhat similar, an obsessively arpeggiated piece that is carefully written but has the rhythmic excitement of straight jazz.
The Avishai Cohen Trio is hardly alone in suggesting the different ways that jazz can move forward without simply rehashing the traditions that are firmly centered on four-four swing rhythm, blues, and the harmonies of the American songbook. Cohen, Maestro, and Guiliana use all of those ingredients, certainly, but they infuse their music with enough classical influence, music from around the world, and contemporary energy to make it fresh. The absence of straight walking swing, for example, doesn�t make this music sound unlike jazz. It just helps to remind us that music is still evolving in 2008, and�let�s hope�picking up listeners along the way
Avishai Cohen Trio - Gently Disturbed - Razdaz Records
The musics of North Africa and the Middle East give their work a special world music tinge that differs from the Scandinavian folk influences on some European jazz.
Published on April 23, 2008- 5 out 5 merit
Avishai Cohen Trio - Gently Disturbed - Razdaz Records SSC4607, *****
[Distr. by Sunnyside Records]:
(Avishai Cohen, bass; Shai Maestro, piano; Mark Guiliana, drums)
Bassist/composer Avishai Cohen was one of the jazz musicians from Israel to gain attention in the U.S. He has played with Chick Corea, Latin bands, pop artist Alicia Keys, and has performed concert works with the London Philharmonic and Boston Pops. He started his own record label in 2003.
This disc may look like the same old piano trio, but it�s not. Pianist Maestro has a similar background to Cohen�s - being trained in both classical and jazz piano. Both are experienced with a wide spectrum of jazz, but also influenced by the musics of North Africa and the Middle East, which gives their work a special world music tinge that differs from the Scandinavian folk influences on some European jazz. Two of the 11 tracks here are based on traditional folk melodies, two are collaborations of the entire trio and all the rest are original by Cohen.
I love the album�s title - seems somehow perfect and it does successfully communicate the general emotional feeling of the music therein. Cohen�s bass work is quite amazing; he makes the hulking string instrument into a true melodic voice in many of the tunes. Variations in G Minor, as its title suggests, comes from the players� strong classical background, and builds to an exciting and propulsive classical/jazz mix. The Cohen Trio demonstrates without a doubt that there can be many unique varieties of the seemingly boring old piano trio format - especially the ones assigning larger roles to the bass and drums in the trio - adding to the contributions of others such as Keith Jarrett�s, Brad Mehldau�s and The Bad Plus.
AVISHAI COHEN TRIO - JAZZ IN SUPERIOR CLASS
Avishai Cohen Trio? Gently Disturbed? (RazDaz Recordz)
5 points of 5
The bass player Avishai Cohen, Americanized- Israeli, and his trio has
become the darling of the Swedish jazz audience after some successful
tours. This CD made in Gothenburg points out why.
Here you have music which is filled of open minds, here you have this
what we call jazz, often with elements of among others classical
music.. Sometimes very obvious like in Variations in G-Minor,
sometimes more vague.
It is filled of fantasy and excitement and with a total understanding
between the musicians, which sometimes leads to the most glorious
of outcomes full of total musical cooperation between Cohen, the pianist Shai
Maestro and drummer Mark Guiliana.
Most of the compositions are written by Cohen, and a few co - written with Maestro and Guiliana..
The melodic al (theme) is in the front-line and makes the music easy to
understand, as well lots of enjoyment in the brilliant,and personal way of playing.
Olle Hernegren in Nya Wermlands Tidningen
April 11, 2008
SKIVOR April 23rd 2008
Avishai Cohen Trio
The Israeli bass player and composer Cohen works with his own successful melting together with the traditional element of the jazz,european art music and folktunes with a taste of the Middle East.
Here is a new recording with the trio, Shai Maestro, piano and Mark Guiliana,drums. Cohen has an rare originality rather unique for the jazz world.
The trade mark is the complicated beat,phased displacement
the explosivity. All the numbers are typical Cohen compositions, lyrical in the bottom, sometimes too
smart, but executed with blending musical cooperation and teqnique.
Fasten Your Seat Belts.
Avishai Cohen Trio : Gently Disturbed
FEMINA Magazine � Sweden July 2008
The Israeli bassplayer composer Avishai Cohen and his band succeeds again to make a swingingdreamlike jazzy album to enjoy gladly outside during the light summer evenings with clinking icecubs in your glass. These friends of Sweden
love to play live and they are coming to Sweden in the autumn
touring with Bohusl�n Big Band. See them if you get the chance
Avishai Cohen Trio Gently Disturbed
Being another hotshot bassist alumnus of Chick Corea-led bands, it�s tempting to call Avishai Cohen the �new� Stanley Clarke, but that�s a lazy comparison. Cohen can effortlessly flutter up and down those thick strings just as ably as Clarke, but his approach is fundamentally different. Having also been trained as an accomplished pianist, Cohen plays his stand-up with more of a piano voicing and he is born to interplay with that chordal instrument.
It makes sense, then, that this album of him leading a piano-bass-drums trio is going to be well suited for Cohen, and it is exactly that. The best thing about this record is that the talent on hand is well deployed without turning this into a wankfest. Cohen, who wrote or co-wrote nine of the eleven tracks, took special care to make sure the songs have melodic lift to them and along with 21-year-old Israeli pianist Shai Maestro and longtime drummer Mark Guiliana, wove their improvisions into the tunes more than on top of them. So, a song like �Seattle� lightly waltzes with pleasant lines so much so that the careful group interplay enters the conscious only subtly. �Chuzpan� employs Corea-esque shifting time signatures but the folk-like melody flows in an almost classical sense. Songs such as �The Ever Evolving Etude� and �Variations in G Minor� even more strongly suggests classical influences while maintaining some of the looseness of jazz.
While Maestro shows plenty of capability to handle Cohen�s intricate compositions and Guiliana seems to anticipate every slight mood change, it�s still Cohen�s show. He shows total mastery as part of the tight unit as well as with his thoughtful solos.
Brad Mehldau may have defined the art of the trio for the 21st century from a pianist�s point of view. With his new trio, Cohen is making a case for a modern jazz trio more from the bassist�s perspective. Best of all, he does it without diminishing the role of the piano. Gently Disturbed, set for general release May 20 on Cohen�s own Razdaz Records, is where Cohen rests his case.
5 stars out of 5.
�Gently disturbed� - AVISHAI COHEN TRIO - Razdaz Recordz/CDA -
Recenserad: Fredag 11 april 2008
The jazz pianist Ira Mogilevsky (plays at Falkenbergs Jazz Days July 18th) has now settled down in Sweden and he has released the albums GUSHPANKA and NYBAKAT, but his famous colleague from the same country Avishai Cohen is satisfied with recording at Nilento Studios in K�llered, after having moved home to Israel from New York. There were Middle East vibrations from the Oud string instrument on the recording CONTINUO ( 2006) , but on GENTLY DISTURBED classical influences (SEATTLE) are instead put in the front line by the new piano phantom 21 year old Shai Maestro. Remaining are some single elements of rhythm (ELEVEN WIVES), ballads like in a movie (UMRAY) and combinations of exclusivity in the middle of an airy atmosphere, where Avishai Cohen�s beautiful dry bass tone leads the trio forwards. A record without conventional jazz groove, but with an originality which wins in the quality of content.
Martin Erlandsson in Hallands Nyheter > firstname.lastname@example.org
4 points of 5. Sydsvenska Dagbladet 2/4 -08 Jazz.
Avishai Cohen Trio: Gently Disturbed. (Razdaz/CDA) Cohen�s magnificent, emotional and extrovert music is still a fantastic (powerful) and wonderful experience, with a supply of new, strong songs. Also here is the systematic of baroque, the language of tones from jazz, melodies flowing � l�epoque romantique and a veritable explosive way of taking care of the rhythm. Superiority, soul and a drink of energy in the same little paper box.
Avishai Cohen Trio- Razdaz/CDA.
SUNDSVALL (ST) 2008-04-05 03:00
5 stars��Gently Disturbed
It could have been purely Swedish: Jan Johansson meets Esbj�rn
Svensson Trio - and soft music is created. But now it happened to be
the 37 year old bass player Avishai Cohen born in Israel, with a
point of view from New York. He is a name both for the audience and
the media in Sweden after his tours and records made here , and the
first trio album.
The follow up (with Mark Guiliana on drums and the newcomer Shai
Maestro on piano) will also be talked about through its hypnotic al
intimate jazz in a dizzy chase of beats and soul, deep folkloristic music
invitingly hidden in unexpected places.
Another release has already been announced which makes me happy.
AVISHAI COHEN TRIO - GENTLY DISTURBED
4 points (of 5)
Some years ago the bass player AC was performing at the Stockholm Jazz Festival.
The counter bass player gave a fantastic performance with his trio
(bass. piano and drums). Cohen created a good contact with the
audience and in spite of the show with a very well thought for lighting (light effects) the music was still in focus.
The trio has been visiting Sweden several more times since . After some years in
New York where Avishai played with Chick Corea he is now back in
his home country Israel. The new CD of the trio contains only original songs.
It starts with the seducingly beautiful ballade SEATTLE. Cohen has a
feeling for strong melodies and the solid support of the musicians gives a
sense of meaningfulness.
Creative and good musical cooperation makes this record to piano jazz
of the highest quality. Actually the record is made in Gothenburg.
April 4, 2008
By Michael J. West
Posted: May 21, 2008
Jazz �neocons��those who maintain that if it isn�t blues-based, it isn�t jazz�will surely reject Gently Disturbed. There�s not a 12-bar or a blue note to be found in the music of Israeli bassist-composer Avishai Cohen and his trio (pianist Shai Maestro and drummer Mark Guiliana). But the disc is too subversive, and too damn good, to bother with such rigid constraints. For starters, it turns the established piano-trio formula inside out. Bass and drums usually support the keys; bolder lineups place all three on equal footing. Cohen, however, puts his bass in command. Even when sharing head arrangements with Maestro, the bass typically has the more challenging part. On �The Ever Evolving Etude,� Cohen and Maestro reverse standard roles, the former wielding melody and solo while the latter accents him. Indeed, most major solos are Cohen�s, exhibiting fleet-fingered, blank-verse rambles through the instrument�s high and middle ranges. He has an ear for astonishing melodic complexity; the traditional �Puncha Puncha� contains one memorable example, in which the bassist virtually writes his own Jewish folk song. (Maestro does get to showcase his tender, wonderfully fractured sound, especially on �Chutzpan.�) Cohen�s compositions, which make up the majority of the album, are as nimble as his arrangements and playing, and every bit as unconventional: If there�s no blues on Gently Disturbed, there�s no other familiar form, either. �Seattle,� for instance, is a lovely, longing 52-bar waltz that dissolves into a free-form bass solo before the second chorus ends. Cohen also employs oblong and shifting meters (�Pinzin Kinzin� is 9/4, �Structure in Emotion� veers from 6/8 to 8/8 to 12/8), which he and Maestro overlay with odd syncopations that confound attempts to find a basic pulse. Guiliana�s simple ability to keep up, let alone stamp them with his distinctive little snare-drum smashes, proves his dexterity. The real effect of these technical subversions is to keep the music unpredictable, which also makes it deeply compelling. The unique compositional structures emphasize the tautness of the pieces�further thrown into relief by the formal waltzes of the album�s two traditional tunes�and the bass�s prominence and starkness packs a punch that lingers from one track into the next. For the neocons, that leaves only a lack of blue notes to grouse about. But if an album�s biggest problem is that it chooses one perfectly viable harmonic language over another, you�re dealing with a fine piece of music.