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New Standards by Luna

With two CDs featuring standard tunes under its belt, the San Francisco group, Luna , has recently served up a selection of new compositions paradoxically called New Standards. Good enough to get by on but not too nourishing.

The record consists of originals by group members, pianist Steve Moon, guitarist Ian Scherer, bassist Damon Lee and drummer Niels Myrner. Mostly the music falls into the pop jazz category with piano and guitar sharing solos and pleasantly interweaving their sound, with occasional punctuation from bass and drum passages. All together the menu of tunes display a sameness of sound, mostly bland with a couple notable exceptions.

The CD’s impact, though, is not at all negative. It’s the perfect music, for example, for a dinner with someone special.

Providing the right background for appetizers is Moon’s "Miss B’s Logic." It gets a swinging groove going with its infectious melody. Follow this by Scherer’s upbeat "Song for Monday."

For the main course, let’s get "Take Out," by Lee. This is the meatiest number on the album with a swinging jazz groove, displaying strong solos-first Scherer on guitar, followed by Moon’s piano and Lee’s bass.

For dessert, the rocking, boppish "Now and Never" will do. Here composer Moon and Scherer, provide their best improvisational turns on the disc.

For after dinner around the fireplace, Moon’s haunting "Passage" sets a romantic mood, with piano and guitar pleasantly going back and forth. Follow this with the meditative "Reflections," a good way to end the evening-or maybe extend it for a midnight snack.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Luna
  • CD Title: New Standards
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Luna Records
  • Rating: Three Stars
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