Shape Shift

Kieran Overs

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Shape Shift Review

by Scott Yanow

This is a particularly strong and well-planned set. The original compositions heard in bassist Kieran Overs's bop-based Unity CD often have strong melodies and fresh chord changes. The first four selections (highlighted by the opening blues "Mr. B.G." and the ballad "3/4 Nancy") feature a quintet with the bassist/leader, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, the light Tranish tenor of Kirk MacDonald, pianist Brian Dickinson and drummer Bob McLaren, Bill Evans's sensitive "Re: Person I Knew" has Overs and Dickinson in a trio with guitarist Ted Quinlan, "Shape Shift" adds Quinlan to the original quintet and the final three numbers (a couple of picturesque originals along with Harold Mabern's hard-driving "There but for the Grace Of...") feature Turcotte, MacDonald, Dickinson, Overs, drummer Jerry Fuller and the reeds of Alex Dean and Pat LaBarbera. From start to finish, the highly recommended Shape Shift keeps up the momentum and tells a full story through its thoughtful improvisations and logical ensembles.

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