9 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On vibraphone and marimba, New Jersey's Stefon Harris darts like an athlete, chasing ideas, harnessing a formidable technique in the service of melodic surprise. His third outing with Blackout, a savvy unit with an intriguing take on acoustic and electric jazz, is intended as its title suggests—an expression of a “sonic creed” inherited from the great masters of the music. Thus Harris, along with several compelling originals, offers gems from the iconic Blue Note years, with a distinct tilt toward associates of Art Blakey: Bobby Timmons’ “Dat Dere,” Horace Silver’s “The Cape Verdean Blues,” Wayne Shorter’s “Go,” and Bobby Hutcherson’s “Now” all receive creative renderings, alive with complex and agile rhythm. The powerful beat of drummer Terreon Gully, the subtle colorations of pianist/keyboardist James Francies and guitarist Mike Moreno, the clutch bass clarinet parts of Felix Peikli on Harris’ lovely “Chasin’ Kendall,” the accompanying marimba of Joseph Doubleday on the striking duet finale, “Gone Too Soon”: These elements and more add up to a refreshing and beautiful artistic statement.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On vibraphone and marimba, New Jersey's Stefon Harris darts like an athlete, chasing ideas, harnessing a formidable technique in the service of melodic surprise. His third outing with Blackout, a savvy unit with an intriguing take on acoustic and electric jazz, is intended as its title suggests—an expression of a “sonic creed” inherited from the great masters of the music. Thus Harris, along with several compelling originals, offers gems from the iconic Blue Note years, with a distinct tilt toward associates of Art Blakey: Bobby Timmons’ “Dat Dere,” Horace Silver’s “The Cape Verdean Blues,” Wayne Shorter’s “Go,” and Bobby Hutcherson’s “Now” all receive creative renderings, alive with complex and agile rhythm. The powerful beat of drummer Terreon Gully, the subtle colorations of pianist/keyboardist James Francies and guitarist Mike Moreno, the clutch bass clarinet parts of Felix Peikli on Harris’ lovely “Chasin’ Kendall,” the accompanying marimba of Joseph Doubleday on the striking duet finale, “Gone Too Soon”: These elements and more add up to a refreshing and beautiful artistic statement.

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