Half Notes: Alex Lopez – We Can Take This Boat (2011)

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The sweeping, cinematic quality of Alex Lopez’s new We Can Take This Boat makes perfect sense, really. After all, the saxophonist/composer’s debut, due on Nov. 22, follows earlier work on a series of independent films in New York City. An all-original effort, Lopez makes good on a series of named influences that include both John Coltrane and Bruce Lee, offering these smart jazz foundations punctuated by sharp, jabbing solos. He’s joined here by a group of able sidepersons that includes pianist Sam Harris, guitarist Greg Duncan, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Norman Edwards. Together, they’ve fashioned an eight-song project that’s both modern (“Rejected,” “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy,” the truly thrilling fusion-y finale “Trying to Start Over”), and at times quite lyrical (the title track, “Curtains,” “End of a Dream”). As weird as it sounds, this really does combine Coltrane’s warm, but at times very challenging tone with Lee’s artfully damaging thrusts.

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

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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