Seamus Blake Quartet | Live in Italy – [Jazz Eyes, 2009]Well seeing how no one has reviewed this album yet I thought I’d give it a shot & inform the jazz public on a fantastic live album by the Seamus Blake Quartet. I’ve had this album now for a few weeks & its been steady in my music rotation. It just a few words it is smoking! Seamus is joined here in Italy by pianist David Kikoski, bassist Danton Boller & drummer Rodney Green. The entire group is in top form especially David Kikoski who takes many stand out solos from greasy shuffle funk to straight ahead post bop. One particular thing I love about Seamus on this album is how he utilizes electronic effects on his tenor like wah wah & echo delay but the effects never threaten to overwhelm the natural sound of the horn, rather they enhance the mood and enforce Seamus’s ideas.
The live recorded sound of the band is excellent with each instrument given its proper place in the mix with studio like clarity. Personally I prefer the sound of this recording compared to Seamus’s previous album on Criss Cross Way out Willy. All of the tunes come from Seamus’s previous Way Out Willy & his newest Bellwether albums. I really love all these tunes especially the first two songs from disc 1 The Jupiter Line & Way Out Willy the latter has some great soulful piano comping & soloing from Kikoski & Seamus busts out the auto wah for his funky sax solo. Another standout composition is The Fear of Roaming.
I can’t say enough good stuff about this killer live set & to top it off it’s a double cd so you get plenty of music to enjoy. Also because its live the tunes are extended & given a good shaking down. Excellent album! Highly recommended. Enjoy! —Anthony R. Guarriello
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