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CD REVIEW: Neil Kelly Quartet - Rivers Converge
By Ivan Nossa - 11/14/2010 - 12:32 PM EST

Artist: Neil Kelly Quartet
Album: Rivers Converge
Label: Delicate coincidence music
Genre: Jazz
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Paradox in blue, The raven in September
CD Review:

Neil Kelly Quartet are a jazz group from California. This is their debut album. It is always important to take a look at who is playing what when it comes to jazz records: Neil Kelly (guitar), Jonathan Bautista (tenor saxophone), Lukas Vasely (bass), Jemal Ramirez (drums).

All songs are composed and arranged by Neil Kelly. He is a guitar virtuoso, and you can feel the love for his instrument from beginning to end of this record as he delivers both harmonic and solo guitar playing . All songs have a special guitar presence, even when it is not the protagonist. This is not an easy jazz album. You can listen to it while relaxing but to appreciate it completely you need to listen carefully, possibly with your earphones on: that way you will discover his hidden treasures.

The arrangements are well thought out and it is to be appreciated the search for this new form of jazz sound without the piano that really works well here, the quartet playing is absolutely fine for being a very young group. One of its most powerful facets is the sound of the saxophone that adds that special something to the songs and Mr Bautista delivers a really unique touch to the compositions.

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