Points in Time

Steve Korn

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Points in Time Review

by Adam Greenberg

From Seattle drummer Steve Korn comes Points in Time, his third release on Origin Records. Following in the theme of his previous albums, Korn makes heavy use of the musicality of the drums both in his playing and in arrangement and composition. The album opens with the rather ethereal (and short) "Hymn" before moving into "Helio," where the individual artists take some extra time for their solos, highlighted by pianist Marc Seales' long tour de force. "Tangents" sounds mildly like something out of Kind of Blue with the band working together beautifully, anchored by Korn's drumming and making full use of interlocking sax lines from Mark Taylor and Rob Davis. Finishing out the lineup, bassist Paul Gabrielson takes the time to stretch out for a loping solo fittingly in a rendition of Ron Carter's "O.K." The title track uses a tight arrangement of horns and drums to switch effortlessly between plaintive ends and more upbeat, almost Weather Report-style portions. "Little Bird" is a tender work primarily for the rhythm section, but accentuated by the horns, and "Baraka" sits at the crossroads of post-bop and soul-jazz rather comfortably. Jochen Feucht's "Beacons" begins somewhat hauntingly and gains an Albert Ayler aesthetic before it's done. The album closes up with "Theme Song From the Sit-Com of the Same Name," which seemingly incorporates the universal archetype of the basic jazz theme song -- simplistic, but enjoyable. To some degree, that assessment stands for much of Points in Time -- Korn isn't using his compositions to explore the far reaches of free jazz and art music as many contemporary artists tend toward, but his results are entirely enjoyable nonetheless. It's essentially straightforward post-bop and soul-jazz performed by a handful of highly accomplished artists who seem to just be having a good time.

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