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Speak to It

Human Feel

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Album Review

Recording under the group name of Human Feel, are Jim Black (percussion), Andrew D'Angelo (reeds) and Chris Speed, who emerges as the dominant voice with his sometimes frenetic tenor saxophone and clarinet. Speed is a compelling player with an original voice, and he contributed three of the ten tunes. Andrew D'Angelo joins him on alto and bass clarinet, the latter of which is particularly effective. As to be expected, Jim Black's dynamic, swirling drums are a continual highlight. Kurt Rosenwinkel rounds out the group with his sometimes aggressive, sometimes atmospheric, often horn-like guitar. The music is mostly a group effort and succeeds on its own terms. If there is a criticism, it is a slight and occasional lack of focus. Overall, though, there is much to enjoy.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Boston, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The members of Human Feel attended music schools in Boston and independently released an eponymous debut album in 1989, before recording the album Scatter for Gunther Schuller's GM Recordings label. After the departure of bassist Joe Fitzgerald, the Beantown quintet continued on as a New York-based foursome, reaching a peak of activity during the mid-'90s as the musicians all became mainstays in the city's so-called downtown jazz scene. During the '90s, saxophonists Chris Speed and Andrew D'Angelo,...
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Speak to It, Human Feel
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