Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jamie Ousley, "A Sea of Voices"

Bassist/jazz tunesmith Jamie Ousley is onto something on A Sea of Voices (Tie Records 1276). Take the Jarrett Trio at its brightest and bubbliest, make Gary Peacock the musical director, sprinkle the nicely turned originals with just a few well-chosen standards ("How Deep is the Ocean," "Rocky Top," "Shenandoah") and then of course be yourself because you AREN'T the Jarrett Trio. That is more or less what is happening on A Sea of Voices.

Ousley and pianists Joe Davidian and Gabriel Saientz (who share the piano chair) sound phenomenal, and not always Jarrettesque, Austin McMahon drums us into a great place with his natural and creative propulsion, and Carlomagno Araya gives us the added spice of percussion when needed.

A high point is a very stunning and unexpected version of "Shenandoah", with the beautiful vocals of Nanami Morikawa and Ousley's well conceived bass and that's all. But this is good music top-to-bottom. Bassists will appreciate Ousely's solo work, as will anyone who loves a good go from the bottom end. And it will appeal to anybody who likes their mainstream freshly served and not warmed-over leftovers.

This one brightens the corner where you live!

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