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Juarez, Dave: Round Red Light

Born in Barcelona, jazz guitarist/composer Dave Juarez has recently released his debut album Round Red Light on Posi-Tone Records. Joining Juarez is an ensemble of fabulous players including Seamus Blake (tenor sax), John Escreet (piano), Lauren Falls (bass) and Bastian Weinhold (drums). This is melodic no nonsense jazz albeit with a modern approach that sounds fresh and exciting every time I listen to the album. All the players are accomplished musicians and there are some excellent solos sprinkled throughout the album's nine tracks including Juarez's rippling guitar runs. His solos provide some of the many highlights of the disc but not so much that they detract from the other instruments. Indeed, Juarez has no problem sharing the spotlight making for a cohesive and compositionally tight group of songs.

Beginning with the light and breezy "Montpellier View", the album is off to the races with a quintessential feel good groove and fine tenor sax work from Blake. Escreet's piano provides a subtle texture in the background before the pace quickens and the drums get busier. Juarez's muted guitar solo is top notch. Clean guitar notes punctuate the beginning of the title track as Juarez explores up and down the neck of his guitar. A languid sax groove settles in giving this one a nostalgic sound. "Lonely Brooklyn" is an upbeat number featuring outstanding solos from Escreet and Blake and kept in check by the fine rhythm section of Falls and Weinhold. The playing is quite complex, almost having an improvised feel.

Other highlights include the heartfelt "Belleza Anónima" with wonderfully melodic sax and the balladic "La Noche Oscura Del Alma" with more outstanding tenor sax, this time pierced by Weinhold's precision cymbal work. The album ends with the eleven minute "Rnp", a showcase for the ensemble to stretch out musically.

Round Red Light is an excellent debut from a fine jazz guitarist. I think jazz purists will especially be impressed with Juarez's attention to detail and his traditional yet fresh take on ensemble jazz.

Track Listing:
1. Montpellier View (4:44)
2. Round Red Light (5:34)
3. Lonely Brooklyn (5:32)
4. The Echo Of Your Smile (6:22)
5. Belleza Anónima (5:08)
6. Serotonina (7:26)
7. La Noche Oscura Del Alma (6:38)
8. Luna De Barcelona (9:03)
9. Rnp (11:17)

Added: June 20th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2309
Language: english

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