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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Julian F. Thayer - The Door Is Open (KSJazz, 2009) ****½

Bassist Julian Thayer and drummer Klaus Suonsaari lead a trio with the late Charlie Mariano as the chief soloist. The very versatile Mariano passed away last month, after a long career playing with jazz legends such as Charles Mingus. He was one of those great saxophonists who created their own way through jazz history, being a true world citizen, born to Italian immigrants in Boston, MA, moved to Germany in the 70s, married to a Japanese, then to a German, followed courses in local music in India, played in rock and fusion bands, was open to free jazz and world music. A man who looked at difference as a source of wealth, inhaling newness, incorporating it, and then blowing a new musical life out of his horn, integrating the things he had newly acquired into his own idiom. And that's why this album is such a great testimony to his skills. Even at the age of 84, when the album was recorded, his sound is joyful, profound and deep, full of play and sadness and life itself. The album contains 12 pieces, composed, but with a great sense of freedom. It is accessible, with lots of openness, great focus by the three musicians, and I must say, Thayer and Suonsaari are fantastic: sensitive, spiritual, subtle and finding the right touch to create a very pleasant mix of jazz with world and folk influences, spanning meditative pieces to high intensity free blow-out moments to slow bop. This is music that bubbles like good champagne. Rich without ornaments. Sparkling in its musical vision.

Listen and download from eMusic.

© stef