Jake Langley

Here and Now

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Young guitarist Jake Langley's third effort, like his previous recordings, is firmly rooted in the swinging jazz of Wes Montgomery. Though no compositions by Montgomery appear on the date, it is his cool-as-a-cucumber, reserved, and thoughtful approach to post-bop that Langley adopts as if it were his own. Organist Sam Yahel and drummer Ian Froman play their parts perfectly in warming these tunes, far removed from funk in a deep freeze, but offering occasional air-conditioned trends that balance the temperatures comfortably. This is a pretty consistent set of tunes, mostly composed by the guitarist, starting with the good-grooving title track, the New Orleans-style blues shuffle "L-Train" with a spare melody; the sweet "Singularity" where Langley and Yahel hold hands with the basic line before jumping into bebop; and "2012," a nice waltz with Yahel's swelling organ as the focal point. The fifth original, "The Ropers," sports a quaint, subtle bounce with Yahel's spacy organ à la Larry Goldings. Four covers include McCoy Tyner's ultimately soulful "Blues on the Corner," played perfectly despite the tricky off-minor melody, and a respectful low-key version of the Charles Mingus evergreen for Lester Young "Good Bye Pork Pie Hat," with Yahel on electric piano. A 6/8 version of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind" and the ultra-slow ballad "You Must Believe in Spring," written by Michel Legrand, seem like unnecessary toss-ins where better material could have been chosen. Langley's other albums have followed a similar path to this one, so it will be interesting to see where he goes next. Considering the many routes to travel in jazz guitar circles, this remains a derivative but tasteful album, a crowd-pleaser sure to satisfy most mainstream jazz fans.

blue highlight denotes track pick