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September 2006

Eric Person
Reflections
Distinction Records

Subtitled The Best of Collection, Reflections consists mostly of tracks from altoist/sopranoist Eric Person’s recordings released between 1993 and 2003 (unfortunately, the notes do not indicate which album a given track comes from). The CD does, however, offer new music in three previously unreleased live performances from 1998 featuring trumpeter Dave Douglas with Person’s quartet. Since several recordings are represented, personnel varies from track to track, although pianist John Esposito and bassist Kenny Davis appear on most.

The style is postbop leaning heavily toward modal. Except for two originals by other participants, the tunes are all Person’s and are typically instrumental pieces rather than songlike compositions. Elements such as mixed meter, stop-and-go rhythms and rubato and shifting tempos are characteristic, and there is even the occasional ethereal synthesizer background. Moods range from the high intensity of the scorching “Perfection” to the dreamlike “Next Love,” performed as a duet by Person and electric guitarist Cary Denigris.

Person executes his music with a virtuosic technique, a spot-on rhythmic sense and a masterful command of the stylistic vocabulary. Colleagues that include such top-flight players as bassist Dave Holland provide him with a more than congenial setting.

Originally published in September 2006
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