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April 5, 2012 | New music from Michael Lampert; Ephemeral
There's Smooth Jazz, then there's jazz that's just plain smooth. The former is the elevator, Kenny G stuff that gets a bad rap because it's not especially adventurous, often palate cloying. Then there's the Wes Montgomery kind of jazz, where the ear willingly envelopes the challenging maturity of the complicated nature of jazz like drinking a smooth, earthy Merlot.
Photo by Nancy A. Weiss
The latter is the case with the music of Los Angeles area jazz musician, electric mandolinist Michael Lampert. After an eight year hiatus from his last recording, Blue Gardenia, he's released a delicious new one with his liquid electric tone on the Sojourner label, Ephemeral. The track "Fluted Forest" has become an enchanting personal favorite, hauntingly lyrical, a sweet melancholy atypical of his previous projects. There are a couple reissued alternate tracks included in this, his third, but plenty of new material here to satisfy the longtime Michael fan, and of course, harvest some new ones. Of course you'll find a healthy amount of his signature blues, not the edgy in-your-face approach, typically more of an intelligent blues "contemplation." Provoking, but not primitive or raw.
We asked the artist recently about his creative process, where his material comes from. "I've spent many years searching different sources (written and otherwise) in order to broaden my creative choices when given the opportunity to take a solo. To play jazz solos, it is imperative to listen to jazz solos. While I certainly have my favorites (including John Coltrane, Lester Young, Thelonious Monk, Grant Green, etc.), there are literally hundreds of great players (actually thousands) who I could listen to all night ( and in fact I have). Without having some sort of idea of how a solo might sound, it's very easy to lose one's way. I probably learned the greatest amount from my teacher Harry Leahey. He emphasized chord construction, chord alteration, and extensions and substitutions and the application of the modes and synthetic scales to that end. I also took lessons from Charlie Banacos, John Carter and an important lesson or two from Dave Pike (among other); they all taught me important concepts that were based upon their personal approaches."
Download CD: Michael Lampert; Ephemeral
Purchase from artist: Sojourner Records
1. Lisa's Allman Blues
2. Fluted Forest
3. Cow Blues
4. Like Jelly (alternate take)
5. Prisoner of Love
6. Blues for Buddy Boy
7. Pres-ly (take two)
Posted by Ted at April 5, 2012 4:58 AM
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