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Royston, Shamie: Beautiful Liar

Accomplished jazz pianist Shamie Royston released her debut album Portraits in 2013. I missed her the first time around but she is back with her sophomore effort titled Beautiful Liar. The artist draws from life experience creating ten pieces of finely crafted post bop jazz. From these song titles and brief liner notes it is clear these songs came from the heart. Although totally instrumental, these are words and music to live by and I can imagine Royston’s personality is revealed in her playing. Like any jazz artist true to form, Royston doesn’t weave this beautiful magic alone as she has surrounded herself with a top notch cast of performers including:

Jaleel Shaw (alto/soprano saxophones)
Josh Evans (trumpet)
Yasushi Nakamura (bass)
Rudy Royston (drums)

Royston’s fluttering notes and gentle caresses give the piano a life of its own on the album’s first track “Sunday Nostalgia”. The song’s reflective theme comes through in the music, not only in Royston’s transitory notes but in the other players as well including some gorgeous sax work. The next track “Push” is a livelier effort with an energetic intro and superb trumpet and sax solos. Royston emphasizes her soloists as her piano subtly fills the background sound giving the other players the necessary room to thrive. The music’s accessibility is in contrast to its deceivingly complex nature. The title track starts slow before suddenly turning into an upbeat groove with a stellar rhythm section and wonderful trumpet and sax interplay. Then its Royston’s turn to fully display her considerable chops with a fantastic solo of her own before ending with scintillating drum work. On a more calming note, “Precious Lullaby” floats like a dream with Evan’s lovely trumpet taking the lead and the depth and feel in Royston’s piano playing is stunningly gorgeous.

The rich melodicism and overarching complexity reveal an album that could only be made by a true artist, where music comes from the heart….and from the soul. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Sunday Nostalgia (5:55)
2. Push (4:16)
3. Beautiful Liar (7:20)
4. Precious Lullaby (4:31)
5. Dissimulate (5:40)
6. Lovely Day (5:40)
7. Circulo Vicioso (5:41)
8. Uplifted Heart (4:55)
9. A Tangled Web We Weave (5:42)
10. Precious Lullaby (Outro) (2:41)

Added: September 16th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 684
Language: english

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