Street Culture is Paul Tobey's first American release and debut for the Arkadia Jazz label. Its nine compositions present the pianist's talents within a solid framework of bebop stylings that represent his complete digression from the classical idiom. The profound spiritual dimensions in his life are brought forth on "A Conversation With Ibach," a tune inspired by his purchase of a rare Ibach piano and clearly heard on the blues- and gospel-inflected "Settlin' In." Tobey is joined by Jim Vivian on bass, Terry Clarke on drums, and Mike Murley on tenor sax, and this quartet is filled with not only boundless energy, but with the ability to play the quiet sentiment and rhythmic language that allows their listeners to connect to the remarkably detailed imagery Tobey has composed and is improvising. Beautiful melodies and a lyrical approach to the compositions are elements that also make Tobey's music interesting and should garner him loyal fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein