Bob Boguslaw

The Way

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Bob Boguslaw wears more than one hat. He is a classically trained pianist who continues to perform classically. He is also a member of the United States Marine Band, and thus keeps busy appearing at the White House and other activities around Washington, D.C., where the president appears. Someone has to play "Hail to the Chief." Here, he is a composer and performer of modern creative jazz music. Some pieces recall the work of modern jazz pioneers such as Eric Dolphy when the reed player was with Charles Mingus. The Dolphy part is played on such cuts as "I'll Remember" by Peter C. BarenBregge. At the same time, Boguslaw's playing reaffirms the enormous influence of Bill Evans, who to this day continues to influence many contemporary piano players. "Even in My Dreams" evokes Evans' work in several respects. Its contemplative, introspective qualities recall such albums as Conversations With Myself. Boguslaw's interaction with bass player Dave Wundrow recalls the special relationship Evans had with the bass. Finally, Boguslaw's use of irregular phrase lengths and careful placement of notes were well-known Evans techniques. Not every track is inward looking. "Why Not" is an exuberant seven minutes, and its effervescence is pushed along by guests who Boguslaw invited to sit in. Here it's Robert Vetter's trumpet that makes a big contribution to the proceedings. But it's Boguslaw's driving, often jagged piano that leads the way. The one non-original is a lovely "Some Other Time," sung hauntingly by Mary Boguslaw, a touching, simple coda to an album of demanding music. For his first outing, Boguslaw puts his full arsenal of styles on display: hard bop, Latin, Thelonious Monk-like impressionism, and a touch of the classics. The result is almost 70 minutes of diversified music, and is recommended.

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