Stich Wynston

Modern Surfaces

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One thing is for sure: drummer Stich Wynston sports a sense of humor worth the price of admission -- at least on the short, sometimes silly, closing number "What Do You Want?" The other 13 pieces don't always hold up to sustained listening, as they vary from rock-drenched fusion to lilting melodic lines. The addition of pianist Paul Bley to the trio is a big plus, and the couple of tunes he contributes are delightfully sensitive. Elsewhere, without Bley, the trio (with Mike Murley on saxophones and Geoff Young on electric guitar) hits a few highs, but for the most part meanders in largely forgettable settings. A lack of focus, uneventful arrangements, and good, but hardly memorable soloing detract from the whole. The talent is there, and this is a pleasant recording, but it's also a somewhat disappointing one.

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