Guitarist John Stein’s Color Tones can be thought of as modern cool jazz. His quietly inventive playing at times recalls Jim Hall although he has his own musical personality. Trumpeter Phil Grenadier’s tone is not that far from Chet Baker’s. Fernando Brandao on flute, alto flute and bass flute is a very fluent soloist who adds a great deal to the color of the ensembles. Bassist John Lockwood and drummer Ze Eduardo Nazario swing hard but at a low volume. Every musician makes perfect use of space and every note counts.
But beyond the musicianship and the fine playing are the compositions. John Stein contributed all but one of the 11 selections (a faster-than-usual version of “Angel Eyes”). A fine songwriter, Stein’s tunes have excellent melodies, set moods, employ catchy basslines and rhythms, and inspire the musicians. “The Commons” could easily become a standard in the future, “New Shoes” is likable and playful, “Five Weeks” is a medium tempo blues and “Jo Ann” is a warm ballad. Even the heated and fairly free “Neck Road” has a relaxed feel to it. Adi Yeshaya’s arrangements for three of the pieces add harmonies to the themes and set up the solos well.
John Stein’s Color Tones
is melodic, concise (none of the pieces exceed 6:14
in length) and quite enjoyable. This fine example of cool jazz for the 21st century is easily recommended and available from www.whalingcitysound.com.
Color Tones is available for purchase here
On January 27th, Midwest Record reviewed John Stein’s newest album Color Tones as follows:
“WHALING CITY SOUND
JOHN STEIN/Color Tones: It’s not daddio jazz but it’s right in the pocket of the classic jazzbo sessions that caught your attention back in the day before you were even sure just what it was that was hitting you. With a crew right in step with the guitarist leading the way, this is on point beautiful playing that you just want to sink back into. Snazzy stuff that grabs you ear and doesn’t let go. Well done throughout.”
View the full review here.
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