Kurt S. Weil

Moving Forward, Reaching Back

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Kurt Weil will be a new name to most jazz fans, although the Swedish vibraphonist has been active since the 1950s. Many of his compositions on this all-original release have a definite post-bop flavor, with "Off Base-Next Case" and "Back to Square One" being particularly strong examples. Weil's approach to his instrument is a swinging one, while alto and tenor saxophonist Christoph Grab and pianist Stefan Stahel also sparkle and bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb are actually the best-known musicians on the date. The problem with this CD is that most of the tunes seem formulaic and just don't stand up to repeated hearings, especially the dull quintet tracks that add guitarist Joe Beck to the group. While "Samba d'Um Jazzista" is innocuous, "Seventh Avenue South" is generic smooth jazz and the rockish "E-Mail Special" is also nothing to write home about. Replacing these three cuts with something closer to the rest of the CD's songs would have made a vast improvement.

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