City of Dreams
Berklee faculty member Garrison Fewell disproves the notion that teachers can't execute on City of Dreams (Splash), which also features saxophonist Tino Tracanna, pianist George Cables, bassist Steve LaSpina and drummer Jeff Williams. Overall, Fewell's playing springs from the mainstream but has an introspective quality that is apparent throughout the program, mainly made up of originals. Fewell's well-crafted compositions feature nice ensemble writing and include two jazz waltzes (the title track and "Waltz for the Lonely One"), a minor blues ("Blues for No Reason"), a rumba/swing hybrid ("Afternoon at the Souk") and a bossa ("Girl With the Groovy Hips"). Throughout, his primarily single-note oriented work generally is smooth, swinging and well phrased. No barriers broken here; just fine playing and music, which is enough.