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Johannes Wallmann, The Town Musicians (FSNT Records)




Johannes Wallmann, The Town Musicians (FSNT Records)
CD Reviews: November 12, 2015

11/12/15
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 Johannes Wallmann, The Town Musicians (FSNT Records)

I’ve found over the years that although jazz albums are like a box of chocolates, you’re basically guaranteed good returns from highly pedigreed resumés, which is another way of saying “this is a really good LP, as you’d expect” in wonk-ese. Case in point is this one, the fifth album as a leader from the NYU PhD jazz pianist, who’s played Carnegie Hall and held down one end of the Dennis Mitcheltree Quartet on national tours. Wallmann’s played with this rhythm section for a decade, but out of the two guys, drummer Jeff Hirshfield stands out the most, maybe because I’m a drum guy to begin with, but really, when he’s not in straight-up mellow-out mode (opening track “Water Music [For People without Aquariums]”) Hirshfield’s fetish for paradiddles and odd military rolls turns the songs into lumbering mechanized beings, grinding along like Baby Huey but keeping to the speed limit. Mostly it’s your basic modern jazz bordering on fusion, rarely mawkish, and in a show of class Wallmann quietly refuses to overuse his most formidable sonic weapon in trumpeter Russ Johnson, whose spotlight track “Paper Balls” is a serious attention-grabber. A+

 






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