chance, how many of you remember the original guitarist of supergroup
Return To Forever? It seems like it was only a few years ago since I
was introduced too the voice of Bill Connors (Hymn of the SeventhGalaxy),
obviously he’s pressed forward and has recorded several solo
projects. Nevertheless, his resume speaks for itself; admittedly I
haven’t heard Connors play in years. On the other hand since I’ve
listen too his latest release titled “Return” I discovered a
rejuvenated spirit speaking the language of jazz with a slightly
different voice and oh what a joy it is!
Connors and the gang burst out of the gate with velocity and attitude
on the opening track titled “On The Edge”. Connors’s guitar
strokes are fluid, well defined in structure; his work is pure
artistry in motion. The guys in the band cohabits this composition
with equilibrium and cohesion. Pianist Bill O’Connell sets the piano
on fire with blazing runs, joined by bassist Lincoln Goines impeccable
solos meanwhile drummer/ producer Kim Plainfield interweaves in and
out executing flawless solos that the redefines the groove.
Plainfield opens the next selection by kickin a seriously funky
drumbeat on what is called “Mr. Cool”, there’s no time for
masquerading here because it’s evident that these guys have come too
play. Bassist Goines slides in vertically jammin’ the bass guitar in
the lower octave calling upon guitarist Connors to strut his stuff as
they now engage in the business of jammin’ some intoxicating music.
voice changes pace on the next track titled “McMinor” his
streaming guitar tones echoes with Benson-like symmetry. On this
composition Connors’s approach glows with passionate melodies as his
accomplices delve into definitive repertoire of delicious and
Over Matter” falls into the 4th spot. Connors and the
gang’s focus until point has been on fusing the outer elements of
jazz, this time they readjust they’re vision by playing rich and
compelling jazz in the swing mode. Pianist Bill O’Connell still
plays with the same punctual dynamics as he did in his tenure with
we all know there’s nothing more exciting then original music, so
why stop now? Connors compositions continue to sustain through the
voicings of timeless, complex, and structural changes.
Compositionally, “Minor Matters” is openly expressive as the band
interweaves successfully with a genuine passion for playing jazz.
Tone Today” is simply inspiring as it falls into the 6th
position with intuitive Metheny-like shadings. This composition
happens to be one of my personal favorites on “Return”; it flows
naturally with emphasis on rhythmic textures and tantalizing solos.
know that you’re listening too a jazz album when you hear tracks
like “Terrabill Blues” and yes it’s the blues on the swinging
edge. I’m impressed with Plainfield’s drumming skills; he
brilliantly interacts with his compatriots.
Yet To” soars vivaciously within the dynamics of modern jazz.
O’Connell’s playing is radiant here (as on every cut) the guys
play together as if they are a seasoned working band. Connors nails
each solo with fervor, striving to excel with each amazing chop to
make his voice a lasting impression in the mindset of jazz lovers’
Be fm” explodes into a dazzling fusion exploration at the beginning
of the piece. Connors and the gang break it down by concentrating on
dialogue of the composition with instrumental voice that speaks
extensively by negotiating each enduring note with enthusiasm and
this superb listening experience as in all good things must come to an
end, so why not conclude this session with astoundingly beautiful
“Brasilia”. Connors and the gang far exceed expectations once
again with their immaculate interplay.
seems as though I can’t say enough about guitarist Bill Connors
artistically or compositionally, his music and virtuosity has
unexpectedly blown me away. Contemporary/Modern jazz aficionados will
simply adorn this masterpiece titled “Return” by Connors; it has
all the essential attributes that you come too expect when you hear
good music! The band absorbs each composition with passion as if they
scored it themselves by exalting with depth and proficiency making
their voices heard beyond the indigenous landscape of jazz.