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Old Thoughts for a New Day

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Album Review

As the title of this colorful, multi-mood jazz date promises, the innovative vibist is entering a new realm in which he's the main composer but the glorious ghosts of his inspirations are clear for all to hear. Ben Adams included a few originals on his critically acclaimed debut, The Figured Wheel, and then devoted Music for Six to the music of composer Todd Brindley Hershberger. On this collection, he and his explosive Bay Area-based quintet tap into those old thoughts for motivation, but the stellar material is all new. Vibe-wise (pun intended), the richly textured tracks range from the seductive and subtle beauty of the lullaby "Avery's Bedtime Song" to the swinging, hard-blowing "Conversation with Martin," the melancholy and slightly off-tone "Patron Saint of Lost Causes," and the bright, brassy Wayne Shorter tribute "The Actual." The most fascinating aspect of the set is the many ways Adams uses his shimmering vibes — as the bright lead melody over the darker tones of the title track, as a charged vehicle for improvisation (as on "The Actual"), and as a gentle harmony element behind the scorching horns of Erik Jekabson (trumpet, flügelhorn) and Mitch Marcus (tenor sax) on "Ghost at Infancy." A treat for serious vibes fans as well as adventurous, forward-thinking jazz fans in general, Old Thoughts for a New Day predicts a bright future ahead for both Adams and the tradition of his cherished instrument.

Old Thoughts for a New Day, Ben Adams Quintet
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  • $8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jun 14, 2006

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