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Peter Hum on Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…

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The Barcelona-raised guitarist Dave Juarez — just 23 — bursts onto the jazz scene with Round Red Light, released on a significant boutique label and featuring heavyweights tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake and pianist John Escreet as well as the guitarist’s youthful peers bassist Lauren Falls and drummer Bastian Weinhold.

His disc features nine originaI tunes that generally have a nice, natural lyricism to them — they sound less like school assignments and competition winners and more like something that Juarez sang and then wrote down.

The title track is slow and lovely as it once again shows off Blake’s greatness as a ballad interpreter. Three tunes — The Echo Of Your SmileLa Noche Oscura Del Alma and Luna de Barcelona — are slow, haunting, Latin-tinged tunes. Belleza Anonima is pretty, poppy and songful, but capable of framing direct, admirable solos from Blake and Juarez.

Among the more rambunctious tunes are the opener Montpellier View and the closer RNP, both brisk 3/4 tunes. Serotonina is the disc’s fast swinger, more in keeping with the kind of music that Posi-Tone’s best known for. Lonely Brooklyn is a 7/4 excursion, with an Escreet solo that becomes typically spiky and jagged.

The only criticism I’ll make is that Juarez is not as strong a soloist as Blake or Escreet, who really provides the disc’s finest moments. Granted, that’s a bit like saying that the guitarist is not world-class. Seriously, some of Juarez’s solos on the slower tunes are just fine, but I find on other tunes he can sound too haphazard.

Of course, at 23, Juarez has plenty of time to boost that aspect of his music.



Written by editor

June 20th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Reviews

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