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Narrative by Tom Van Seters Quintet

Narrative, the recent release by Montreal pianist and band leader Tom Van Seters is everything one would expect from a high quality, modern, straight-ahead jazz recording: A well crafted product that has great tune writing, imagination and creativity in solo improvisations, and above all an exceptionally high level of musical technique and proficiency.

The eight tunes that comprise Narrative provide over an hour of music and are all original compositions/arrangements by Van Seters. The variety of his musical imagination ranges from lilting jazz waltzes and sensitive ballads to mode based excursions and tunes with bop tinged angular melodies. Van Seters also exemplifies in his compositional craft a keen sense of balance between familiar sounds and unique twists of surprise.

Van Seters’ compositions/arrangements are all well executed by his quintet. Superb musicianship is exemplified by their very tight ensemble playing. A swinging rhythm section that maintains a relaxed yet driving foundation further enhances this precision. Soloing by Van Seters, saxophonist Mike Murley, trumpeter/flugelhornist Kevin Turcotte, and bassist Fraser Hollins demonstrates highly imaginative and creative spontaneous music making. The exceptional clarity and channel separation on the CD raise the recording quality of Narrative to a standard in the same league as the finest in recorded jazz.

Narrative by the Tom Van Seters quintet is on all counts an excellent recording and a distinct pleasure to listen to. Narrative is without a doubt a recording that should be included in any jazz CD collection and certainly leads one to look forward to Van Seters’ next opus.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tom Van Seters Quintet
  • CD Title: Narrative
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: VSM Records
  • Tracks: After Dark, My Old Friend, Salute to K, Corner of Milton, Open Sky, Pass On The Right, If Only We Could, The Buttonhole Maker
  • Musicians: Tom Van Seters (piano), Mike Murley (tenor/soprano saxophones), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet/flugelhorn), Fraser Hollins (double bass), Dave Laing (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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