Gerard Presencer


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Platypus Review

by Alex Henderson

In the early 1970s, different jazz artists had different ways of acknowledging funk and soul. Miles Davis, John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Larry Coryell, and Chick Corea's Return to Forever played outright fusion; their music was an innovative, forward-thinking mixture of jazz, rock, and funk. But at Creed Taylor's CTI Records, the electric jazz of Freddie Hubbard, Joe Farrell, and others wasn't really fusion -- CTI had more of a "post-bop meets funk and pop" outlook. And similarly, Gerard Presencer's 1997 recording Platypus combines jazz and funk without being outright fusion; on this melodic CD, the flugelhornist sounds like a post-bopper who has started incorporating funk rhythms and using electric instruments. Presencer's appealing tone is greatly influenced by Hubbard (with hints of Miles Davis), and original pieces like "In the Air" and "Still Moanin'" wouldn't have been out of place on a CTI recording that Taylor produced in the early 1970s. Platypus (which employs Jason Rebello on keyboards, John Paricelli on guitar, Andrew Cleyndert on bass, and Jeremy Stacey on drums) isn't innovative or remarkable, but it's definitely enjoyable -- and you have to admire the fact that Presencer wrote everything on the CD instead of inundating listeners with overdone standards.

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