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Newsome, Sam and Jean-Michel Pilc: Magic Circle

Saxophonist Sam Newsome has an extensive discography both as a soloist and as a sideman. On his latest disc titled Magic Circle he teams with long time partner in music pianist Jean-Michel Pilc.

The album consists of seven standards and two original improvised pieces. The duo certainly puts their own spin on these classics starting with a reinterpretation of the Joseph Kosma penned "Autumn Leaves", originally written in 1945. Bursts of sax and piano take turns before piano takes the lead with a repeating motif. The arrangement is certainly creative with improvisation also playing a hand. Next is the Duke Ellington classic "In a Sentimental Mood" showcasing the sax at various tempos with an underscoring of sparse piano notes. The arrangement is quite sparse which creates quite a different mood than the original. The two originals, the title track and "Auto-schediasm", are exercises in total improvisation as the experimental side of the duo comes out in full force. In the former, the high sax notes have a trill-like sound with discord running through the entire piece. The latter is much the same with regard to the duo's avant-garde approach.

Newsome and Pilc have certainly put their own stamp on some beloved classics and their creativity cannot be denied. Although I prefer more melodic jazz I do appreciate what they have created here. For those of you into the more experimental and free form side of jazz, Magic Circle should be high on your list.

Track Listing:
1. Autumn Leaves (9:40)
2. In a Sentimental Mood (7:43)
3. Giant Steps (4:12)
4. In a Mellow Tone (4:40)
5. Magic Circle (5:13)
6. Misterioso (5:09)
7. Auto-schediasm (3:16)
8. Out of Nowhere (8:54)
9. Ask Me Now (3:10)

Added: February 15th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 229
Language: english

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