Atlanta guitarist Jacob Deaton began the year with a new album—his first one, in fact—and makes a good initial impression. These six songs, all Deaton’s, vary in tempo in mood but the common thread throughout them all is that they are crisp post-bop with simple melodies and advanced harmonies. This leader allows a lot of running room for pianist Nick Rosen and alto saxophonist Akeem Marable (Craig Shaw is on bass and Justin Chesarek mans the drums). Deaton’s plays his guitar with a bias for playing quality, not quantity, notes, and a warm tone with just a touch of vinegar makes those notes sound good. The “stretch” tracks are the bookend ones, “Tribulation” and “Sketches of Trane” (Youtube below), where Deaton, Marable and Rosen light it up with sequential solos. But it’s not all hot licks; the relaxed groove of “Hoexter’s Hex” shows off Deaton to craft a intricate tune with a lot of soul.
Tribulation was self-released on January 3. Visit Jacob Deaton’s website.
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‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.