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Taborn, Craig: Daylight Ghosts

Daylight Ghosts is the third ECM Records release as a leader for Minnesota native and current New York keyboard player Craig Taborn, his first with the quartet that features Chris Speed on tenor sax & clarinet, bassist Chris Lightcap, and drummer Dave King. An upbeat, engaging, melodic, and overall highly enjoyable album, Daylight Ghosts is a modern jazz release that pushes songs & melodies over extended soloing, but manages to include plenty of group improvisations within the compositional framework. That makes for a highly addicting listening experience, and the synergy between these musicians instantly brings you in, also helped along by Taborn's deft compositional skills.

Many of the tracks just breeze by, Taborn's array of keyboards and piano creating some sensational melodies alongside Speed's crisp sax & clarinet, easily getting the listener's attention and keeping it there for the duration. "The Shining One", "Abandoned Reminder", "New Glory", and the title track are all charming examples of modern jazz, the melodies memorable and the instrumental interplay impressive every step of the way. It's not until "The Great Silence" that the band dive into darker, more atmospheric waters, Taborn's mysterious piano and Speed's far reaching clarinet creating lush soundscapes, eventually giving way to the lengthy "Ancient", a real slow builder that starts with piano, sax, and an extended yet gentle double bass solo courtesy of Lightcap before the quartet climaxes with a raucous crescendo. If the album ended there I'm sure non one would not complain, but thankfully more gems, such as the exquisite "Jamaican Farewell", the Taborn piano dominated "Subtle Living Equations" and the quirky 'jazz-fusion meets prog rock' track "Phantom Ratio" close out the album in grand fashion.

It's albums like Daylight Ghosts that add that extra bit of diversity to the ECM roster; just when you think you have a handle on the 'ECM sound', along comes this little gem that makes you rethink that statement. Good stuff, and highly recommended!

Track Listing
01 The Shining One
02 Abandoned Reminder
03 Daylight Ghosts
04 New Glory
05 The Great Silence
06 Ancient
07 Jamaican Farewell
08 Subtle Living Equations
09 Phantom Ratio

Added: February 5th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 1939
Language: english

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