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Now! by Curious Paradise

The music on this album flows, it peaks, it settles again. Free-spirited and expressive, it’s about as melodic as expected of projects of its kind. The first tune, "The Peak of Time" starts off a bit slowly, taking over 1 minute, 40 seconds to really develop into the suave clean-cut 8-minute piece that it finally becomes. Maybe that was the idea: To make one anxiously await the "punch" of the tune. It just may be worth the wait--for the most patient among us. Nevertheless, the tune is light, sweet, and lilting. There’s definite craftsmanship in the proficient sax work and guitar runs.

Overall, the music is very well-played straight-ahead jazz with other genre touches to enhance it. While not incredibly remarkable, it’s a most satisfying and complete project, firmly embracing the essence and comfort of this type of jazz. The musicians are competent and sure-footed, and there is that something about the album. Something alive and easily appealing to the discriminating senses of the jazz aficionado. It often sets that ever-sought-after romantic mood (take "Night Light" for example).

Now! is a sweet jazz journey with a few twists and turns in place for effect. Selections like"How So?" initially bring in that world touch, and there are others that toy with it, as well. However, when all’s said and done, you’re listening to some really good traditional jazz. Curious Paradise will truly hold its own on the genre’s wide playing field for years to come.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Curious Paradise
  • CD Title: Now!
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: 33 Records
  • Tracks: The Peak of Time, The Jaunt, Depth of Field, Night Light, How So?, The Return, Vincents Dream
  • Musicians: Pete Oxley (guitars), Julian Nicholas (saxes, bass clarinet), Phil Peskett (piano, keyboards), Oli Heyhurst (basses), Russ Morgan (drums, percussion)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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