Peter Bernstein with the Tilden Webb Trio - Live at Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club (2012) 7.25/10
In a word - satisfying
The album begins slightly ho-hum with the only original in the set: "Bones", a commonplace blues head. On the heels of that is the cd's standout track "Darn That Dream". Yep. It's a Cellar Live label release of straight-aheadness. Peter Bernstein's sincerity and quest for harmonic expression make this particular one quite worthwhile, and the trio is very supportive. Standard after standard receive Bernstein's full emotional commitment and technical expertise. "Darn That Dream" shows off his luscious guitar tones and constant stream of solid ideas that please and fascinate. "Love For Sale" features several very fine choruses, the final chordal one is especially fine. "Wise One" was a great choice to offset the warhorses, but would've fared better without the McCoy-isms and Elvin-isms. "Come Rain or Come Shine" sports the best solo from competent and swinging pianist Tilden Webb. Bassist Jodi Proznick takes a lengthy turn in "Django" and drummer Jesse Cahill finally gets some in "What Is This Thing Called Love", but mostly the unit does a great job in letting Bernstein shine, giving him plenty of comfort while he lets loose. Well played live jazz!
Chris Kelsey & Dom Minasi - Duets|NYC/Woodstock (2014) 6.25/10
In a word - Braxtony
The cons: First off - completely free jazz is not my bag. Seriously, whose bag is it? If it's yours, you can add another 2 points to the rating. Truth: the layman off the street won't be able to distinguish the middle of one track from the middle of another. There is nothing "new" here, it could easily be a recording from 1965. Finally - I think Dom Minasi is a great guitarist. It's hard to tell from the sound he emits on this release. Think Joe Cinderella on vinyl circa 1957, your stylus is shot and there's a healthy wad of dust under it, plus someone draped an old tee shirt over one of the speakers. About midway thru the album I got a slight headache coincidentally on the same side as Minasi's guitar is panned.
The pros: I never felt compelled to turn the cd off. Chris Kelsey is quite the gifted soprano saxophonist (highly evidenced during the last minute of the opener "Fondness & Trepidation"). His tone is great and both artists cover most of the emotional spectrum allowed by this sort of music. The necessary empathy between players is in abundance. The tunes (if I may use that word) are never boring and more often than not engaging (they can in fact be distinguished one from the other). The shorter cuts work best. "Tip Toe" was my favorite, and "Blues Ultimatum" and "That Ain't the Blues" are also highlights. If you are in the mood for this sort of thing, it will be a fine listen.