Blue Muse: Live


(Blue Muse)
Release Date: 
Friday, October 9, 2015

     Right out of the gate, Blue Muse delivers an amazing starter track with Bless You (For C.W.) that is reminiscent of all good Jazz. A bit New York, a bit Chicago, even a bit mindful to people like me who grew up with the great Jazz backings in all of Charles Schultz's Peanuts films. Simply nostalgic, catchy, and enjoyable with a fun filled heart.
     Bachionada is the first of two tracks on the album that transport the listener to a different place all together. Jarrett Carter's Spanish-like style guitar musings on this track are absolutely immersive and bring you closer to the music in a way that opens up the brilliance of Evan Peterson's drum work and leads into Jonah Pierre's complex piano work.
     Smile is the second track on the album and does well in creating a Parisian atmosphere that somehow managed to sink into a Caribbean feel with Tony Steve's Excellent Vibraphone playing. It's a playful track that offers up complexity yet doesn't poke and prod you to take immediate notice. Have fun, relax with it, or delve deeper and see the track for it's masterful construction. Though to be honest, all of the tracks on the album, especially for a live album, impress with their perfectly played complexities.
     They Say had me pressing the back button on the track several times over the course of the few weeks I played the Live Album to and from work in the car, at home in the study, or in my iPod as I ran. Don't get me wrong, the track is a refreshing piece of work that combines Jazz and a slight Funk style to create a new sound among the albums tracks, but at it's core all I could hear was Cake's The Distance. It was a bit distracting. Once you get past it, if you're well acquainted with Cake's popular 90's tune The Distance, even if it's a minimal comparison, you'll come to appreciate They Say a lot more.
     Infant Dance is a contemporary flavored track that offers up the relaxing easy going kind of Jazz that piano lovers will flock to. Jonah Pierre's ivory work here is hypnotic along with Cody Wheaton's Up-Right Bass work which booms alongside Pierre and transcends into the mix just overlaying Peterson's drum work. Easily the most mature of the tracks on the album.
     Icarus, just the title alone, immediately had me digging for meaning. Was this a tune inspired by the story of Icarus, and if so how would the music translate? The boundless energy of youth and curiosity manifesting into discovery, thrill, warning, and ultimately tragedy. Since Jazz is so open to narration you can find just about any line of substance your looking for. Maybe I fought my way to the expected conclusions and found my theme for all the above, but make no doubt the track, if looked at the right way, is easily a story unfolding in the eye of the beholder.
     Finally the album closes out with Blessed Assurance, another track leaning more towards contemporary Jazz and a good outro for the album that brings the group sound together and then showcases each individual talent as a nod to the audience before bowing out with grace.
     Overall I found the album to be an absolute delight. Every track managed to showcase the talent and width of all the players individually and as a unit while putting on display their efficiency in a live setting. Definitely one to check out if you love Jazz. I highly recommend.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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