Half Notes: Kevin Crabb – Waltz for Dylan (2011)

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There are couple of ways that Kevin Crabb’s all-original Waltz for Dylan could have gone wrong. Rangy saxophonist Kelly Jefferson and, in particular, pianist John Beasley (Miles Davis) might have completely overtaken this project, dedicated to the drummer’s son. Or, they might have become lost in the distracting bashing of a rhythm guy who mixed his own parts too far up front. Crabb and Co. instead avoid both missteps, playing with a sympathetic cohesion that often sounds like a group of old friends happily improvising. Waltz, with standout tracks like the romantically impressionistic “Flight” and the spicy Latin-inspired “Nightscape,” was also recorded not over a period of time, and endless overdubs, but on one single day: June 21, 2010. That also serves to imbue the proceedings with this sizzling immediacy. A terrific find.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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