Cranston, RI (PRWEB) May 8, 2010
Taking a brief break from his acclaimed international quartet after Raising the Roof which jumped an impressive 43 spots on the JazzWeek radio chart and peaked at #2, jazz guitarist John Stein has chosen to spend a little quality time with the wonderful jazz vocalist and well-known jazz radio host, Ron Gill. This inspired partnership, enhanced by the presence of pianist Gilad Barkan, plays the material on their new recording Turn Up The Quiet.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Antonio Oliart at WGBH Radio Studios in Boston, Turn Up The Quiet, illuminates the inspiration behind their longtime musical friendship while also emphasizing each musician's strengths. Stein's exquisite taste and sensitivity really shines in the spare instrumental context of voice and guitar, and his accompaniment brims with subtlety and nuance. In addition, Stein proves to be a fine acoustic bassist, with a warm flexible sound and rock solid rhythm -- able to swing the music without the aid of a drummer on the songs on which talented pianist Gilad Barkan's presence makes the group a trio.
For his part, Gill adapts beautifully to Stein's subtlety with a sensitivity of his own. His hushed, vocal romanticism makes a brilliant couplet to Stein's accompaniment, especially on album highlights like Ellington's ethereal love song "In a Sentimental Mood," the dark and haunting "My Flaming Heart," the wry irony of "Detour Ahead," and the closing Sammy Cahn-composition "Wonder Why." The repertoire here is lovely, but challenging, with technical dexterity combined with lofty chord changes, colorful word play, and enduring melody. Some of the songs are nearly forgotten gems, unearthed by Ron's lifetime study of jazz vocal material. Even the more familiar tunes radiate a quiet power through the intimate and sincere treatment John and Ron have fashioned for them.
"There are things I've learned to expect when I collaborate with Ron Gill," writes Stein in the liners to Turn Up The Quiet. "First, the repertoire will be challenging and distinctive ... Second, his concept for each song will be different and utterly personal. When you listen to Ron he's right there: he looks you in the face, and sings to you directly from the heart."
Though the concept of the album came from Stein, the project is a genuine, down-the-middle collaboration. Their arrangements are balanced and substantive; as both artists search for ways to accommodate the other. In this way, Turn Up The Quiet, is like Gill's own voice and Stein's stellar guitar, music that comes straight from the heart. Don't miss it.
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