Sam Barsh

I Forgot What You Taught Me

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Sam Barsh is perhaps best known for having spent a few years as a member of the Avishai Cohen Trio. With his own group, he performs what he has said is a "funky blend of jazz, R&B and slick ambient grooves." Perhaps that is true in person but, on his debut CD, there is virtually no funk. Instead, Barsh plays 13 originals that are full of repetition, simple rhythms, and inconclusive playing. Many of the selections, such as "nuTrance," "George Dub," and "Rainy Day Loop" do not go anywhere, just stating the same idea over and over again as if he and his quartet are waiting for the singer or soloist to show up and give them some direction. As far as ambience goes, there is not much color or originality to be heard although the musicianship is clearly at a high level. Barsh sounds like he can play keyboards well, but clearly his compositional skills, as evident on this CD, are not at the same level.

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