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Chris Wells - 3 Beat (Feat. Charlie Wood) (2015)

23-11-2015, 18:10
Music | Jazz

Title: 3 Beat (Feat. Charlie Wood)
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Electrico 18
Genre: Jazz
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 57:13
Total Size: 135 MB

1. Meantime (4:23)
2. Keep Asking Questions (4:49)
3. Full Circle (4:22)
4. Verbena (5:03)
5. Whatever It Takes (4:06)
6. Thinking Aloud (5:30)
7. Song For Mase (3:35)
8. On The Limit (2:52)
9. Isabella (3:36)
10. Dynamique (5:18)
11. Priorities & Realities (3:58)
12. Something More Important (4:39)
13. AZT (4:57)

BEAT is the 4th solo album from producer Chris Wells. Recorded at Realworld Studios in April 2015 it features the talents of Memphis blues keyboardist Charlie Wood, a long time collaborator and close friend, who shapes the album through his mastery of acoustic & electric pianos and his signature Hammond B3 organ. 'From the outset with this project I very much wanted to produce a record that had been recorded in 'the old way', by which I mean that everyone would be playing together, in the same room at the same time, with all that that entails in terms of energy and spontaneity. I had also for a long while intended to make a trio album, but rather than it having a single sound throughout, it should comprise of different combinations, so instead of switching personnel I took the route of varying the instrumentation (keyboards & basses) to provide tonal variation between the tracks'. Without any introduction by way of a vamp the album launches directly into 'Meantime', a medium / uptempo swing feature for acoustic piano and the ideal vehicle for pianist Wood to deliver his opening statement, his solo demonstrating his dexterity and lyricism in equal measures. The trio immediately moves into top gear for the next tune, 'Keep Asking Questions' which along with a shift in mood also sees a change in tonality, featuring Wurlitzer piano and electric bass. The track takes the form of a theme and variations over an ostinato bass line and features much interplay between Wood and Wells that stems from many years of playing together. Next up is 'Full Circle' which marks the first appearance of the Hammond organ on the album, perhaps the instrument for which Charlie is most noted, before which the mood becomes somewhat more relaxed with the waltz 'Verbena' putting the spotlight on Wood's lyrical acoustic piano solo. 'Whatever It Takes' introduces the sound of the Rhodes to the ensemble, whilst 'Thinking Aloud' is a swinging shuffle that echoes the laid back sound and style of South African jazz in it's melody and harmony, and one of 2 tracks to feature an acoustic bass solo. 'Song for Mase' was written for jazz drummer Harvey Mason, but rather than being an energetic feature for drums is actually a gentle & melodic waltz, again spotlighting the Rhodes piano. 'On the Limit' once again puts us back in up-tempo territory, with the return of the Hammond and Charlie pulling out all the stops, literally. This high energy track is immediately followed by the very gentle 'Isabella', a graceful jazz waltz. 'Dynamique' is a classic 12 bar blues form, whilst 'Priorities & Realities' has at it's core a chromatic melody & harmonic structure. The album is rounded out by 2 contrasting numbers, both featuring Hammond organ. 'Something More Important' uses a variation on the blues harmonic form, and closing the set is the upbeat 'AZT' which stands out by virtue of of its 'straight 8ths', as opposed to swung, feel. 'This album is both the realisation of an idea that first hatched a while ago', adds Chris, 'as well as being a broad representation of my recent work as a composer in this genre'. Credits: Charlie Wood: acoustic & electric pianos, Hammond organ Don Richardson: acoustic & electric bass Chris Wells: drums.

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