Dark Grooves - Mystical Rhythms

Dark Grooves - Mystical Rhythms

by James Hurt
     
 

Debut discs are supposed to explain an artist's breadth, and this first volley from pianist James Hurts hits a lot targets at once - - the guy's got scope. Of course that's meaningless if the music is overly random or willfully miscellaneous. But the 32-year-old Hurt proves himself an insightful segue dude on these 12 singular tracks. Working with a small army of… See more details below

Overview

Debut discs are supposed to explain an artist's breadth, and this first volley from pianist James Hurts hits a lot targets at once - - the guy's got scope. Of course that's meaningless if the music is overly random or willfully miscellaneous. But the 32-year-old Hurt proves himself an insightful segue dude on these 12 singular tracks. Working with a small army of musicians, he creates piano-based music that sustains its focus by steadily using the record's title as a thesis. Grooves and rhythms are primary here. Four of the day's best young drummers, including Nasheet Waits and Ari Hoenig, pepper the proceedings with all sorts of cadences. Hurt knows the strength of each beat and plies them accordingly. That means soul maneuvers on "Orion's View," sideways funk on "Jupiter," and a swirl of Afro-Cuban tempos on "Waterfall." Even the sweeter moments, like the catchy "The Tree of Life," flaunt their intricacy. Hurt, the composer, makes his music enticing without dumbing down the action. Along the way he integrates avant mischief and mainstream designs, finding a way for a progressive rhapsody like "11 Dreams" to swing, swing, swing. There's only one moment of aping. "Venus" comes just too close to Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" to be acceptable. But overall this disc announces the arrival of an eccentric and stimulating new pianist.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Pianist James Hurt is a very talented musician, and his solos show a superb ability to improvise in an original style. For this recording, he has assembled a variety of groups, ranging from duo to septet to showcase his talents. He sounds best with rhythm along or with his tenor saxophonist of choice, Jacques Schwartz-Bart. The one track with four horns (alto saxophonist Sherman Irby, trumpeter Russell Gunn, tenor saxophonist Greg Tardy, and trombonist Robin Eubanks) is largely wasted due to the unimaginative arrangement, and failure to take advantage of the individual talent. In a more intimate context, Hurt displays an unconventional individuality and an impressive quirkiness. His self-confident swagger delight and he shows a knack for choosing his notes carefully. ~ Steven A. Loewy

Product Details

Release Date:
08/10/1999
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724349510425
catalogNumber:
95104

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Hurt   Primary Artist,Percussion,Piano
Robin Eubanks   Trombone
Antonio Hart   Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Abraham Burton   Alto Saxophone
Eric McPherson   Drums
Greg Tardy   Tenor Saxophone
Nasheet Waits   Drums
Russell Gunn   Trumpet
Sherman Irby   Alto Saxophone
Ari Hoenig   Drums
Dana Murray   Drums
Eric Revis   Bass
Jacques Schwarz-Bart   Tenor Saxophone
François Moutin   Bass

Technical Credits

Brian Bacchus   Executive Producer
Katsuhiko Naito   Mastering
Tom Terrell   Liner Notes
Dan Gellert   Engineer
Eli Wolf   Producer
James Hurt   Producer,Liner Notes
Burton Yount   Art Direction
David Baker   Engineer

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