The debut CD for this quartet of Detroit's better young veterans, Point of View profers that modern, swinging, instrumental music still stands strong and tall. Listening to this true collective, fresh-sounding ensemble gives great credence to this type of music and the musicians individually. Saxophonist Michael Graye, from the band Blue Dog, is the most audible player here with a good, strong sing-song type voice on the alto, the lemon sweet shadings of Jackie McLean and the strength of fellow Detroiter Kenny Garrett. It's a literate, well-practiced, soulful sound that suits him well. Drummer Alex Trajano (also from Blue Dog) and Graye are assertive in their attitude, prompting very inspired performances from bassist Keith Malinowski (also a BD'er) and unsung pianist Gary Haverkate. Trajano is tasteful, swinging, and and never shy. Malinowski is hitting his stride in the solidity department, and he wrote the breezy, lightly swinging opener, the chatty "Crows in the Garden." Haverkate plays lovely stuff throughout, shading Bill Evans-type cool with Chick Corea-like flourishes on occasion. Graye contributed four pieces, the best his excitable, heavy headnodder "Whirl," which closes the CD. Haverkate adds two more, with the obligatory standards being Graye's exceptional interpretations of "Here's that Rainy Day," and the (surprise) pop hit "Witchita Lineman," done with great passion, eyes aflame, eyelids shut. P.O.V. compares favorably to similar-type '90s jazz bands like California's B-Sharp, New York City's One for All and Cincinnati's Standard Time. When the jazz music of now is this positive and uplifting, how could one not change even the most stereotyped point of view?
Point of View Review
by Michael G. Nastos