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Step Tempest review for Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…

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Posi-Tone Records continues its streak of good new music with this, the debut CD by guitarist/composer Dave Juarez.  Juarez, a native of Barcelona, Spain, has created a program that covers much stylistic territory, utilizing an excellent including Seamus Blake (tenor sax), John Escreet (piano), Lauren Falls(acoustic bass) and Bastian Weinhold (drums – he’s got a new CD that will be reviewed in the next few weeks.) While there a slew of fine solos, the first thing one notices is the compositions;  all these pieces have well-defined melodies and fine harmonies.  A handsome ballad, such as “Belieza Anonima“, not only has a sweet melody but also wonderful coloring from the supporting musicians. Whether it’s a cascading line from the guitar, splashing cymbals or creative piano fills, this portrait is fully developed.  The title track, “Round Red Light” (a pleasing take on Mr. Monk’s famous tune), is another lovely ballad, with an excellent tenor solo – listen to how Juarez shadows the tenor on the theme (both in and out of the song) and don’t miss the splendid rhythm section work from Escreet, Ms. Falls and Weinhold. After a rousing guitar solo, Escreet takes over on “Luna de Barcelona” with a hearty solo built upon Juarez’s final lines – he, then, goes off in his own direction, with a rhythmical solo that hints at Flamenco as well as Romantic classical music. “RNP“, the final track, is also the most “open”, starting slowly then “revving up” for the solos – everybody is “smoking” here, from the poly-rhythms created by Weinhold to the active bass lines to the series of fiery solos (Juarez really lets loose at the climax of his spot), culminating in Blake’s tour-de-force.

Round Red Light” starts out strong and gets better as one moves through the tracks. With nary a false step, Dave Juarez has created a gem of creative music that illustrates his excellent composing skills and the joy of creative interplay.  To find out more, go towww.davejuarezmusic.com.

Enjoy the opening track, “Montpellier View“, by clicking on the link below – courtesy of Posi-Tone Records and IODA Promonet.
Montpellier View (mp3)




Written by editor

April 26th, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Reviews

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