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Chasing Tales by The Mark Kleinhaut Trio with Tiger Okoshi

With special guest Tiger Okoshi, Kleinhaut has raised the bar further with a most enjoyable and spirited collection of mostly originals on Chasing Tales. Having made his mark with Gary Burton and George Russell's Living Time Orchestra, Okoshi's versatile style in either fusion or straight ahead jazz is evidenced throughout. He adds a richness to the sound that servers the music well. The rhythm section of Jim Lyden and Mark Macksoud are back as well.

With muted trumpet, Okoshi contributes some classic bebop trumpet on Bluejay. Tightly arranged, Okoshi explores the upper reaches of the scale, weaving in and out with as one might say, "Some Well Placed Notes". Kleinhaut returns the favor by swinging in a style reminiscent of Barney Kessel and to an extent, Kenny Burrell. Kleinhaut can swing with the best of them. Lyden's bass solo adds a welcome flavor to the mix.

Aftermath is a beautiful ballad highlighting Kleinhaut and Okoshi's talent. Taken at a subdued tempo, the band oozes warmth and control. Okoshi's trumpet is pensive and lonely in it's sound adding to the overall melancholy of the piece. Captivating throughout, the band feels every moment with skill and empathy.

Three Olives is another upbeat number where Kleinhaut dances over the strings with smiling fingers. Lyden's solid bass playing throughout is an example of the importance of this instrument in moving the melody along while at the same time supporting the rest of the group. Macksoud's brief yet enjoyable solo sets the stage for Kleinhaut to take everyone out.

Written by Okoshi, Erika's Living Room is a poignant duet between Okoshi and Kleinhaut. Listen carefully to how Kleinhaut enriches the melody through harmonics and subtle finger exploration. A perfect bed of notes for Okoshi to explore. Kleinhaut takes a sparse yet introspective solo, nailing down the spirit of the tune beautifully. Okoshi's rich and exquisite playing over Kleinhaut's comping, sound like fine silk gently touching the skin. A highlight? You bet.

Another intricate and stimulating number, Mousetrap exudes the ins and outs of the chase. Okoshi and Kleinhaut are having a blast. Playing off each other throughout, Okoshi's dizzying runs as well as Macksoud's occasional percussive blasts keep the moment interesting and alive.

There is no doubt that Kleinhaut is a guitarist of many hats. Adding Tiger Okoshi only fuels the musical fire that Kleinhaut is capable of. There is a sense of richness and exuberance that stays with the listener on every one of these well written vehicles. Lyden and Macksoud's contributions make it all possible. One of Kleinhaut's finest efforts. Many enjoyable listens await those eager to explore Chasing Tales.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: The Mark Kleinhaut Trio with Tiger Okoshi
  • CD Title: Chasing Tales
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Invisible Music
  • Rating: Five Stars
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