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The Curt Sheller Trio..Midnight At The Jazz Cafe..CDMJ1 2002
CD Reviews / CD Reviews
Date: Jun 29, 2004 - 08:01 AM
By John Gilbert
Straight ahead jazz that goes right to the heart of hip is what you hear on this solid recording by guitarist Curt Sheller (aided and abetted) by Daoud Shaw on drums ad Steve Beskrone on the bass.
This album contains a mixture of standards, with a couple of original tunes, all of which are done tastefully, and that makes this a most enjoyable listening experience.
Sheller has complete command of his instrument which translates into solos both sensitive and fresh with ideation throughout.
From "There Will Never Be Another You" to the Original "Kelle Belle" Sheller weaves a tapestry of melodic beauty. The latter tune is an impish ode that lopes along in a stylish strut that is made for toe tapping and a smile or two.
For the afficionados of trio jazz, this is as good as it gets...You won't find clutter and dissonance on this CD, only the finest of music arranged to suit the most discriminating tastes. 5 Stars
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The Curt Sheller Trio: Midnight at the Jazz Cafe
The Curt Sheller Trio's "Midnight at the Jazz Cafe" is a very pleasant and enjoyable CD with an appropriate title because as I sit here listening to the warm tones of Sheller's playing I get a feeling of sitting in some cozy jazz club on a cool rainy night, listening to great tunes played by a small group of friends.
This is not a CD that attempts to assault the listener with ego or insistent playing. Rather, it is an album that clearly realizes the beauty of the melodies of each tune played. Tunes like "There Will Never be Another You", "Black Orpheus", "My Favorite Things", "Milestones", "Autumn Leaves", "So What", "Cute" and other standards, are performed with deference to the musical statements that can be found within the harmonic and melodic content of each tune, as are the two original tunes written by Sheller: "Kelle Belle" and "Midnight Cafe". In other words, there is some nice playing going on here.
Sheller's single line playing is smooth and straightforward with an effortless quality that can only be portrayed by someone who has been playing and listening for some time. And his chordal work is skillful with fat sounding voicings that work very well in this trio setting. Just check out the gorgeous chordal arrangement Sheller comes up with on the original tune "Woman Child" (written by producer Chuck Anderson). Very nice indeed.
The remaining members, Daoud Shaw on drums and Steve Beskrone on electric bass, complement Sheller's playing by providing a strong rhythmic foundation for Sheller to play off of. However, Beskrone gets off some nice solos on a few tunes showing that he can grab the spotlight when need be.
Overall, this is a very nice CD to have in your collection and I look forward to hopefully more Midnight visits to the Jazz Cafe.
Go to www.jazzguitarresources.com/cds.html to purchase "Midnight at the Jazz Cafe" or to see what else Curt Sheller has to offer.
Lyle Robinson - www.JazzGuitarLife.com
Midnight At The Jazz Cafe
The Curt Sheller Trio | Curt Sheller
Jazz guitarist Curt Sheller is an instuctor/musician who hails from Pottstown, Pennsylvania and performs in the greater Philadelphia area. On his first album he has provided thirteen tracks that consist of largely the Great American Songbook and jazz standards plus two originals and one composition from his mentor, Chuck Anderson.
Let's give some credit to Curt Sheller for having the sense to select ten songs that are fine examples of musical architecture of the Twentieth Century. It would be hard, in a mainstream setting, to mangle any of these tunes, and in the format of the Curt Sheller Trio, he fully succeeds. From a standpoint of categorization, the album could be placed in a "dinner jazz" setting, either by listening to the CD or imagining the trio performing live in a restaurant environment.
The pleasure of basking in the aural presentation of such songs as "When Sunny Gets Blue," "Black Orpheus" and "There Will Never Be Another You" is the melody itself and one is reminded of the countless times that these tunes have been heard without tiring of them. Sheller's originals, "Kelle Belle" (for his daughter) and "Midnight Cafe," are decent enough to not stand apart from the other tracks.
- Michael P. Gladstone
The URL for this review is: www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=14567