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Scott Reeves Quintet

The Alchemist

Review by Gary Hill

We generally land fusion under progressive rock, which is why this goes there. As fusion goes, this might not be as guitar oriented or explosive as some of the genre, but it's every bit as compelling and powerful. This is particularly entertaining album from start to finish. If you like fusion with a solid footing in traditional jazz, yet a challenging and creative approach, I heartily recommend this. It's exceptionally strong.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
New Bamboo
There is a real enchanting and rather mysterious sound as this gets underway. I love the tone of the bass. This is fusion titled toward a more pure jazz sound. It gets more involved and intense as it continues. There is some almost King Crimson like sound built into it at times. There are really some exceptional musical passages as this makes its way through various twists and turns.
Shapeshifter.
As strong as the opener was, this might actually surpass it. There is a drop back to let the horn shine early. This has some particularly powerful musical passages. I am really taken with some of the piano. The whole piece feels a bit more experimental and challenging than the opener did.
Without a Trace
Here we get another potent fusion number. This is a bit more understated at times than some of the rest are. Don't mistake that for it being staid, though. There is so much going on. This really covers some unusual and spectacular ground.
The Alchemist
The title track is energetic, dramatic and powerful. I really dig the keyboard jamming on this a lot. The guitar solo is so classy, too.
Remembrances
Slower and more reflective, this has a real sense of looking back built into it. The soloing on it is packed with emotion. While this is perhaps less challenging than some of the mother music here, and more pure jazz, it's no less effective.
All or Nothing at All
Dramatic and more challenging, this has some killer sounds at play. Everyone gets a chance to shine here, and this has some particularly inspired jamming.

 

 
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