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Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2020
The jazz wunderkind of yesterday is now a veteran teen, and he continues to amaze with his inventive structures and lyrical compositions. With 11 of the 12 tracks written by himself (Fragile by Gordon Sumner/Sting is the only cover), Joey Alexander offers a splendid collection of pieces. He is joined by Larry Grenadier on acoustic bass and Kenrick Scott on drums. On several tracks the flute of Anne Drummond and the percussion of Luisto Quinero add their flavors. The title tune, which begins the album, is Warna, a word from Sanskrit meaning color. The warmth and sweetness of the melodic Mosaic is immediately felt, but the positive andante flow of Lonely Streets does not seem noir; perhaps Alexander enjoys empty pathways. The soulful, bongo-beat Downtown is followed by Afffrmation I. [Affirmation III comes later, but Affirmation II is not included). This piece is introspective and quiet. Shifting to rapid angular and short phrasing, Inner Urge is enhanced by solos of bass and drums. Flute figures prominently in the assured We Here, and the album turns thoughtfully religious with Tis Our Prayer. The happy conga drum-propulsive Our Story leads to the second but stronger statement of reflection, and this feel-good album concludes with The Light, the flute emphasing the clear vista ahead. Joey Alexander has something to say. His technique is no longer novel; it is his compositions that marvel.
I have the CD of this project. At first I thought it might be my speakers. Then I listen with HP, no that noise is still there. Then I played back on another system. Ya the piano has this funny buzzing sound especially in the midrange. whats up VERVE? Sounds like what Hans Beekhuyzen describes as TIME SMEARING. aND i FIND THE MIX JUST hORRIBLE. Jeez Verve I'm disappointed. Worst sounding STEINWAY EVER. Joey I love your ideas and playing this about the Production and Recording flaws. And where's the drums in the mix? Except for the solo they sound like there in another state. Joeys playing full of fun ideas and rhythmic extensions. If you don't notice any of the mention complaints from me you will surely enjoy this project. Recording * Joey ****
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