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ASCETICISM (A Portrait Of Jazz)
While the literal definition of “asceticism” involves the art of spiritual self-discipline, many in the larger culture see it in its religious sense of giving up some kind of pleasure. The piano virtuoso’s exciting and gregarious recording shows an ivory command that fits the first and is about as far from the second as one could imagine. Impressing with a playful and melodic, elegant funk style reminiscent of Bob Baldwin and Alex Bugnon, he’s all joy on thumpy, elegant funk gems like “Der Grune Mann” and “Free From Freedom”, which feature lively, busy arrangements and an obvious sense of traditional Jazz. His commitment to tossing his straight ahead influence into the pop mix is refreshing. Time will tell if the veteran of the Roy Ayers experience will achieve solo stardom, but for the most part, he has all the tools.