Sunday, 04 November 2018

Joe Augustine - Cool Today, Jazz Tonight

  • Category: Top Products
  • Published on Thursday, 28 November 2013 11:05
  • Written by Super User
  • Hits: 328

Groove Attitude - 4.19
Night Train - 3.42
Cool Days / Jazz Nights - 4.08
Fever - 4.06
On This Special Day - 3.47
Samba De Boyz - 4.03
Nature Boy - 5.19
Peel Me A Grape - 4.35
St Thomas - 2.39
Funk N Games - 3.56
Love For Sale - 4.51
No More Tears - 4.55

COOL TODAY/JAZZ TONIGHT "I've always felt that music should be about surprise-with taste," Joe Augustine likes to say. In Cool Today/Jazz Tonight, his second outing for 1201 Music, he shows us exactly what he means. Surprises abound in the 12 cuts on this CD. The music ranges from funky to lyrical, and every bar is as unpredictable as it is accessible. Joe's is a subtle, sophisticated art, full of unexpected rhythmic and harmonic turns that reward careful listening. A master pianist and Steinway Artist, Joe Augustine has honed that art for three decades. He has written hundreds of songs and performed in every kind of setting from jazz clubs to concert stages, from solo recitals to full-dress gigs with symphony orchestras. That experience has given him a style all his own, marked by sophisticated harmonies, intricate rhythms and a profound respect for melody. Rhythmically, Joe plays around within the beat and avoids playing on the downbeat. Like the great Miles Davis-another artist of great lyricism-Augustine values the spaces between the notes as much the notes themselves. Where does all of this put him on the stylistic spectrum? Somewhere between Oscar Peterson and Dave Grusin, he says, with a little Fats Waller stride tossed in for leavening. Like License to Groove, Joe's first CD with 1201 Music, Cool Today/Jazz Tomorrow is a mix of standards and original material. The proceedings get underway with "Groove Attitude," an original blues that features a funky beat and offbeat melodic and harmonic twists. Next comes a fresh take on "Night Train," another blues that those of us with long resumes remember as a pop hit from the 1950s. The beat here is straight-ahead 4/4. "Cool Days/Jazz Nights" is another original-a gently swinging, atmospheric piece over a laid-back beat that still manages to swing. Once again, Augustine spices the tune with intriguing harmonies, but the real star here is his will-o'-the-wisp touch. Another song, another mood. "Peel Me a Grape," is a sly romp through the tune made famous by Diana Krall. Joe is clearly having fun here. Who else would make a delicate, Chopinesque cadenza suddenly morph into a blues lick? For other pleasant surprises, check out Joe's calypso-style romp through "St. Thomas," Sonny Rollins' classic anthem, or listen to "Funk 'n' Games," which is exactly what its name implies-four minutes of melodic and harmonic twists laid over a funky beat. Or consider "Love for Sale," which might be thought of as Cole Porter via Thelonious Monk, Fats Waller and André Previn. A word here about Augustine's accomplices in this caper. He is the featured artist, but they provide stellar support and deserve special mention. Guitarist Denny Jiosa's interplay with Augustine throughout the disk is beautifully sensitive. Ditto the varied rhythms laid down by drummer Chester Thompson and bassist Steve Novosel. Cool Today/Jazz Tonight may be a tour de force for the pianist/composer/leader, but it is also boasts ensemble work of a high order. And so we come to "No More Tears,' a ravishing little piece in which Joe's playing recalls the romantic, introspective Chopin of the Preludes. Listen to the simple melody, the evocative chord changes, the gorgeous contrapuntal playing. Beautiful? You bet-and jazz of a very high order. Click here for an online story about Joe Augustine. Click here for an online review of this CD.

Groove Attitude (4:19), Night Train (3:42), Cool Days / Jazz Nights (4:08), Fever (4:06), Special Day (3:47), Samba De Boyz (4:03), Nature Boy (5:19), Peel Me A Grape (4:35), St Thomas (2:39), Funk 'N' Games (3:56), Love For Sale (4:51), No More Tears (4:55) Joe Augustine (Steinway D Grand Piano),Denny Jiosa (guitar), Steve Novosch (accoustic Bass),Chester Thompson (drums), Glen Caruba (percussion) Exec.Producer Joe Augustine, Producer. Michael Moryc, Recorded at Quad Recording Studios, Nashvile, TN, Mixed by Denny Jiosa and Michael Moryc at The Real Thing # # #

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