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A Balance Of Light by The Mark Kleinhaut Trio with Bobby Watson

Over the years many sax players have come and gone. One name stands out as being not only a survivor but an important contributor to jazz. His name is Bobby Watson. A Balance of Light features the Mark Kleinhaut Trio with Watson as special guest. Never one to rest on his laurels, Watson is a musician always pushing the envelope. Contributing new ideas, Watson's influence on this session is undeniable.

Opening with the upbeat Ferdinand and Isabelle, Watson's verve and drive get the engine running so that Kleinhaut can respond in kind with spirit and conviction. Kleinhaut's playing enriches the moment, complimenting Watson's alto with tasty licks and runs.

Take a trip South Of Mason starting off with a brilliant exchange of ideas between Watson and Kleinhaut. Easing into the groove, Watson carries the melody with fun and style. Maintaining a classic sound throughout, Watson's ability to carry a melody line with such control is pure joy. Kleinhaut's subtle strumming behind Lyden's solo is refreshing.

Start It Up is a corker of a number. Lyden's bass playing as usual sounds great. Flowing throughout, picking up the pace for Watson and Kleinhaut to trade ideas and share moments before Watson takes a few brief liberties. Kleinhaut's swinging is fueled as well as influenced by Watson's natural ability to inject some drive and flavor into the session.

Always known for his solo excursions, Watson lights up Four Lane Clover with his relentless spirit and musicality. The trio joins in with a swinging feel as Watson dances around the notes with ease. Kleinhaut always tries to maintain a certain sound when it comes to the trio. Always striving for balance, the trio is well served by Watson's contributions. Kleinhaut takes all kind of chances, swinging hard along the way.

Summers is an interesting piece in that the melody interjects punctuations while Watson weaves in and out. A bit of experimentation takes place in the trio while Watson's soft alto rides a wave of sonic fluidity. Kleinhaut can be heard ever so sparsely. It's a mural created from brief uncertainty, whirling excursions and flair.

Chalk up another delight from Kleinhaut. More than ever, Kleinhaut takes a journey out of the mainstream into unchartered territory. While listening to his previous recordings, one thing is for sure. His ability to explore and create in the moment is undeniable. What sets him apart is his determination to keep the music original while at the same time having fun. Bobby Watson's contributions are noteworthy, but more importantly what Kleinhaut was able to learn from Bobby and display throughout A Balance Of Light, shines a bright beacon on the future of this talented artist.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: The Mark Kleinhaut Trio with Bobby Watson
  • CD Title: A Balance Of Light
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Invisible Music
  • Tracks: Ferdinand and Isabelle, Long Look Back, Four Lane Clover, South Of Mason, Fields Of Greens, Start It Up, Erikita, Summers.
  • Musicians: Mark Kleinhaut (guitar), Bobby Watson (alto sax), Jim Lyden (bass), Les Harris Jr. (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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