Monday, May 22, 2017

Mason Razavi - Quartet Plus, Vol. 2 (OA2 RECORDS 2017) introspective experience of deeper meaning, his latest offering is a mature rendering of masterful playing and ideas. Razavi is definitely one to watch. JAZZ TIMES

From delicately scored ballads to a raucous take on "Caravan," Bay-Area guitarist Mason Razavi's second volume of his "Quartet Plus" series inhabits the great traditional jazz forms while enhancing them with modern textures and rhythms, creating a work that should leave jazz aficionados of various stripes nodding in approval. Working with pianist Bennett Roth-Newell, bassist Dan Robbins and drummer Cody Rhodes, the "Plus" is a five-piece horn section featured on several dynamic and intricately arranged compositions. "Evocative storytelling is the hallmark of Razavi's music." All About Jazz

The interesting thing Razavi does on this second 'quartet' outing is show that you can be a classically styled guitar jazzbo without having to show that you can chase the ghost of Wes and catch him. Firmly his own cat, this solid program of mostly originals is right in the pocket of great playing making for great listening. A real winner of a set, this is the kind of stuff that fools you initially into think it's dinner music but gently elbows it's way to the fore without you noticing. Well done.

1 Riverbed 6:35
2 Blues in New Hues 6:28
3 Looking Forward, Looking Back 5:31
4 Blue and Grey Waltz 5:57
5 With The Wind At My Back 6:55
6 When The Ink Ran Dry 8:01
7 Grvünkabop 6:22
8 Portrait for Mingus 5:07
9 Through The Fog 6:04
10 Caravan 6:53

BENNETT ROTH-NEWELL - piano, keyboards
DAN ROBBINS - acoustic & electric bass

PLUS (Tracks 6-10)
JUSTIN SMITH - trumpet, flugelhorn
BEN TORRES - alto sax, clarinet
OSCAR PANGILINAN - tenor & soprano sax, clarinet
KEVIN BRYSON - trombone
ALEX MURZYN - bari sax, bass clarinet, clarinet