How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With the possible exception of "love" and "you," "moon" enters as a most-welcomed word-muse to performers, composers and lyricists. When "jazz organ" enters into that equation, the expected aural summation might be the blues-infused funk of Jimmy Smith
, is a performance surprise that's full-moon bright and thoroughly invigorating. It's a predominantly organ-centric excursion across a series of contemporary-flavored originals and surprisingly-selected established compositions that soars.
and others, takes command here musically and compositionally. Performing with flair on organ, accordion and piano and backed by an outstanding team well-acquainted in the style, Oswanski solidifies himself as a most able explorerand composer of more contemporary material in the ECM vein.
's "Kayak" and Led Zepplin's "Rain Song," for example. Oswanski scripts seven intriguing tunes that provide gorgeous platforms for the multi-layered interpretations: "Milk of the Moon" and the hands-down killer title cut.
Never neglected by any jazz organist, there's straight-ahead ("80-80- 8," "Standard Tile") where Oswanski demonstrates he can cook with the more celebrated chefs in the organ kitchen. His accordion is a perfect sonic touch, fitting seamlessly on "Solo Por Undia" and the exotically-flavored "Ukrania Polka." His approach on that axe isas on all three instruments (piano on "Evanessence")highly expressive. He avoids cliché and obnoxious "Lady of Spain" technique displays.
While Nature's December's Moon might portend a deep, dark winter ahead, December's Moon augurs a beautifully poetic performance experience from a stellar musician and his shining supporting stars.
Track Listing: White Meadow; Solo Por Undia; December's Moon; Ukrania Polka; Mercury
Retrograde; The Rain Song; Sleeping Beauty; 80-80-8; Milk of the Moon;
Standard Tile; Kayak; Evanessence.
Personnel: Ron Oswanski: Hammond B-3 Organ, piano, accordion; Tim Ries: tenor
saxophone, soprano saxophone; John Abercrombie: electric guitar (1, 5,
8, 9, 11); Jay Azzolina: acoustic guitar, electric guitar (2, 4, 6);
John Patitucci: bass; Clarence Penn: drums, percussion (2-4, 6, 12); Ian Froman: drums (1, 5, 7-10.