It is almost certainly the most complex production of any NZ CD of recent times utilizing the talents of some twenty six guest musicians as well as bassist Atwill. And it has to be noted that these 26 guest musicians are some of the best in the world, and from several different countries around the world, performing at this time. Five years in the making Atwill said to me on the phone recently "the music on this cd represents everything I have heard in the genre of jazz since I started playing". The sixteen tracks on the cd (fourteen penned by Atwill with the remaining two penned by Atwill and saxophonist Greg Heath) certainly do cover many styles of jazz without ever becoming repetitive. On the contrary, the depth of artistic ideas and execution of those ideas shows why the tag of "genius" is applied to Atwill by his peers. I have also heard the term "perfectionist" applied to Atwill in relation to his composing, arranging and playing. Combining the quest for perfection with a 5 year project might be a recipe for disaster. Indeed there is a history in music of long winded projects tending to end up as over-produced ego trips; not so with this release. The depth and variety of the material combined with the stunning musicianship means that the CD flows from one idea to the next effortlessly. Atwill's bass playing on both acoustic and electric variations shows him to be one of the premier bassists in the world but listen too to the stunning solos especially by Greg Heath, Kim Patterson, Roger Manins, Gordon Rytmeister, Greg Tell and all on many tracks. There are far too many high points and excellent performances to mention in this review and in any case words cannot ever convey the message of music. I made this my "CD of the Week" on my UK Jazz Radio show and I have no doubt it will be my "CD of 2010".
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