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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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JUSTIN KAUFLIN

Dedication

Jazz Village JV579003

 

 

1. Elusive

2. B Dub

3. For Clark

4. The Professor

5. Epiphany

6. Tempest

7. No Matter

8. Where Are You

9. Up And Up

10. Lasting Impression

11. Motherís Song

12. Thank You Lord

Justin Kauflin - Piano, key≠boards

Billy Williams - Drums (tracks 1-10, 12)

Christopher Smith - Bass (tracks 1-10, 12)

Matt Stevens Ė Guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12)

Etan Haziza - Nylon guitar (track 12)

As a child, Justin Kauflin studied violin and piano but gradually lost his sight. This made him specialise in the piano, where he expressed his developing interest in jazz. Trumpeter Clark Terry was his tutor and mentor, and the new film Keep On Keepiní On is about their friendship. Clark Terry had already taught or mentored a considerable number of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis, Randy Brecker and Quincy Jones, who had started his career as a trumpeter. In thanks to Terry, Quincy produced this album, Justinís second.

Among many new pianists appearing on the scene, it is hard to make your name, but Justin seems a possible candidate for success. He has a delicate touch and his compositions on this CD include a number of catchy pieces. The opening notes of the first track, by piano and guitar in unison, suggest a player with a good sense of melody. On this and several other tracks, Justin leaves guitarist Matt Stevens to state the theme: a rather unexpected move which works nevertheless. Elusive starts lyrically but then takes off in a fast tempo. This suggests that Justin can play in a variety of styles, which are evident throughout the album.

But lyricism seems to be Justinís strongest point, as tunes like For Clark and the rather morose No Matter show Justin meditating at the piano. Tempest is surprisingly untempestuous, and Up and Up shows that Justin and his group can swing like the clappers. Matt Stevensí solo in Lasting Impression proves him to be a very talented guitarist. Billy Williamsí drumming is consistently exciting and appropriate.

Julianís solo piece, Motherís Song, sums up the qualities of the music on this disc: heartfelt and moving. And Thank You Lord closes this superb album with a heavy gospel-style piece featuring Etan Hazizaís nylon guitar and a bass solo from Christopher Smith. I can honestly recommend this album.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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