Maciek Pysz, A Journey, Dot Time Records

From 2015. I enjoyed Insight, Maciek Pysz’s 2013 record, and there are echoes of that winning formula here with bassist Yuri Goloubev and drummer Asaf Sirkis joining the guitarist once again, the playing addition this time the warm presence of …

Published: 25 Dec 2019. Updated: 2 years.

From 2015. I enjoyed Insight, Maciek Pysz’s 2013 record, and there are echoes of that winning formula here with bassist Yuri Goloubev and drummer Asaf Sirkis joining the guitarist once again, the playing addition this time the warm presence of bandoneonist Daniele di Bonaventura.

With a pastoral sound Pysz plays mainly his own gently persuasive compositions plus a version of Ralph Towner song ‘Innocente’, and there’s a delicate humanity to the atmosphere throughout, sometimes touching on Pat Metheny territory by cleverly harnessing complex acoustic melodic lines underpinned by a very emotion-laden but uncloying sense of harmony.

Di Bonaventura adds plenty of interest as a foil to the guitarist, for instance on the atmospheric ‘Paris’, and Goloubev’s deft bass accompaniment contributes a great deal to the sheer tonal warmth of the band sound. There is some beautiful stuff here – a must for jazz guitar fans. SG

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Marc Cary, Rhodes Ahead Vol 2, Motéma

From 2015. If there existed a sliding scale of vogue-ish instruments running from zero = fashionable as a pair of old socks to 10 = who needs shades anyway then the Fender Rhodes would be shooting off the top end of the Ray-Ban scale without a …

Published: 25 Dec 2019. Updated: 19 months.

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From 2015. If there existed a sliding scale of vogue-ish instruments running from zero = fashionable as a pair of old socks to 10 = who needs shades anyway then the Fender Rhodes would be shooting off the top end of the Ray-Ban scale without a doubt. No matter, the instrument still needs someone tasteful to push those keys and manipulate the electronic possibilities and Marc Cary is no bandwagon-hopper anticipating the current fashion for all things Rhodes by years and years with Rhodes Ahead Vol. 1 strictly 20th century.

There is a pile going on here as Cary folds in jazz, latin, the funk-derived DC style Go-Go and so much more here with club-friendly cosmic sounds effortlessly appealing. Sometimes too much Rhodes, though, can pall yet Cary and his band never allow longueurs to creep in too much and with Tank Gully and Jason Moran bassist Tarus Mateen as the core unit he is keeping good company once more, assembling an additional battery of instrumentalists to join him so we hear tabla, djembe and a little violin even thrown in for good measure.

Of the 11 tracks plump for ‘Spices and Mystics’ most, ex-Abbey Lincoln pianist Cary’s own tune that inures itself initially from a Lonnie Liston Smith space through scintillatingly fast beats and fat bass punctuation into headbobbingly ecstatic territory. Not everything here has quite that impact but this second volume of Rhodes scholarship is sure to be played on the more discerning jazz radio stations and web shows out there perfect for their coolest listeners. SG