Paul Bollenback


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Paul Bollenback's fourth CD for Challenge is a mostly trio affair with bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. The influence of John Scofield is immediately obvious, though Bollenback's style is much less jagged and more melodic. The opening track, "Estate," adds vibraphonist Joe Locke in an arrangement that begins as a dreamy duet by the two before switching to a more pensive setting with the addition of Drummond and Watts. His lively upbeat take of the old standard "I Fall in Love Too Easily" contrasts with the usual maudlin interpretations, while his addition of a march-like cadence to Michel Legrand's "The Summer Knows" (the theme from the film Summer of '42) removes the typically pensive and often overly dramatic air of this well-known song. Usually attempts to play the music of the Rolling Stones in a jazz setting have been miserable failures, but Bollenback's soft imaginative take, with a shift to a Latin rhythm, is the happy exception to the rule. The leader also contributed a trio of originals to the date, including the edgy blues "Taining In." It's obvious that Bollenback put a lot of thought into his arrangements for this release; as a result, this is a disc which will not only stand up to the test of time but reveal new facets after repeated hearings.

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