The music on Geoffrey Keezer's MaxJazz grew from collaborations with Hawaiian slack key guitar specialist Keola Beamer, a featured player on the album, and expanded to encompass contributions from thirteen musicians exploring everything from Keezer originals to Hawaiian chant to Bach's Prelude In E Flat
. Somehow, Keezer managed to keep the whole thing recognizably jazz, although it drifts toward the 'new age' end of the jazz spectrum at times.
Perhaps that 'new age' edge is just the islands creeping in, though, bringing a relaxed feel that's best described as contemplative. No matter what the material is, though, or how many musicians join him, Keezer is the dominant voice throughout, whether he's playing piano, Rhodes, vibes or marimba. His skill as an arranger is evident, as well, with each player fitting seamlessly, and expertly, into their respective roles.
As is typically the case with MaxJazz releases, the recording itself is impeccable, allowing the listener to focus on what this eclectic gathering of musical spirits has to offer in terrific fidelity. It's the kind of album that makes people passing by stop and say "That's nice," but it's equally worthy of your full attention, which will be amply rewarded.