Andre Bush, guitar; Bruce Williamson, soprano sax & amp; bass clarinet; Art Lande, piano; Peter Barshay, bass; Alan Hall, drums
Start From Silence is the third album from San Francisco bay area guitarist Andre Bush, following Invisible City (1999) and Darwin's Waiting Room (1996). It showcases Bush's thoughtful and wide-ranging composing as well as the performing and improvising skills of Bush, pianist Art Lande, and reed player Bruce Williamson. This is not an album that 'swings,' nor is it a collection of isolated tunes where the band states a simple theme and then takes turns improvising. Rather, it's a study in themes and moods, colors and textures. The palette of Bush's acoustic and electric guitar (with a variety of tunings), Williamson's soprano sax (and occasional bass clarinet), and Lande's piano is used quite effectively, with the 3 lead musicians finding very complementary tonal qualities and beautiful harmonies. There are clear influences of Wayne Shorter (from before, during, and after Weather Report) in the composing, and of Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin and even a little Bill Frisell in Bush's playing. Several tracks move from a quiet lyricism reminiscent of the group Oregon to guitar solos worthy of Alan Holdsworth or Frank Zappa, before resolving themselves. Interspersed are short acoustic variations by Bush on the title theme.
This is an album recommended for guitar fans, and anyone interested in thoughtfully composed music or modern small-group Jazz. The music gets (and requires) the listener's attention, without becoming overly planned, controlled, or 'intellectual.'
by Howard Fieldstein
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