Original, fresh and worth a serious listen, Jacob Deaton delivers his freshman release entitled “Tribulation”. This crisp, clean, frontal attack gives us a tease of Mr. Deaton's talents with his six track EP that leaves the listener begging for more.
Right out of the box, the title track “Tribulation” gives us something to deal with. Tight guitar launched chords give way to splashes of rhythm mixed with alto saxophone and guitar unison lines toying with the ears. Then “BAMM” let the swinging solo development begin. Akeem Marable is a saxophonist to be dealt with. He delivers an intensely full sound with incredibly soft hands providing a controlled power balanced with melodic expression. Mr. Deaton has more than enough influences to be a true original with his compositional prowess and melodic solo development. Just when the ear is expecting no more than the guitar and saxophone presentation, Nick Rosen offers his piano message as a third course of solo expression. The intensity of his playing and compliment of bassist Craig Shaw and drummer Justin Chesarek result in the “delivered fresh daily” message.
The stick figure composition “Eclipse” walks the listener here and there with a herky jerky melodic theme. Soloing takes the lead with playful references to Charlie Parker by Akeem Marable again light as a feather above a steady swinging rhythm section. Enter Mr. Deaton, whose story-telling clarity paints a comfortable picture for the listener. When the baton of soloist is handed to Mr. Rosen, the context changes to that of a piano trio. The strength takes the listener by surprise at first. This is great arranging by Mr. Deaton. All members reunite to take the tune out with an ensemble zest that begs for the next composition to begin.
“Hoexter’s Hex” is a tribute to one of Deaton’s instructors and mentors Randy Hoexter. An eerie stop and start melody is introduced by saxophone and guitar lines of Mr. Marable and Mr. Deaton and is lightly supported by the rhythm section. Listen closely to the brush work of Justin Chesarek who pops the accents right where they should be. Opening like a rose in bright sunlight, the solo development begins with guitar jostling with Chesarek’s brushwork expanding to open and edgy chordal play by Mr. Deaton. This tume is simply "just grooving’. Akeem Marable then takes lead chair with his light but highly confident improvisational message. His tone and approach to his horn is hypnotizing and captivating. Nick Rosen joins the conversation and takes a two-handed melodic swing straight to the melodic exit row. Respectfully done Mr. Deaton.
The waltz pulsed form of “Major Differences” begins almost argumentatively floating to and fro just waiting to breathe. Never in a rush to reach the open waters, Mr. Marable subtly relinquishes the wheel to Nick Rosen who holds the form in close control until tapped on the shoulder and yields to Mr. Deaton. This composition never relents to the desire to burn. Instead it has a reserved sense of controlled expression.
“Sharp Edges" enters next with an attitude of independence saying “I will go wherever I want and I may change my mind at any time,” which it does. This is especially true with Mr. Deaton and Mr. Marable. Regardless, the rhythm section of Mr. Rosen, Mr. Shaw and Mr. Chesarek, keep these “Sharp Edges” just swinging.
Closing out this collection of inspired music is “Sketches of Trane” which is an ensemble inclucive, up tempo composition giving space to soloing for each of the amazing players on this project. Like most “stretch out” compositions, ample room is afforded each soloist to develop an improvisational message. Everyone takes the time to expand their wings, flying over the support of the rhythm section to express themselves. This is the kind of composition that is different every time it is played. The interpretation on this recording is highly expressive.
Jacob Deaton is a musician committed to his heart and soul. Live or recorded he brings something unique in each setting he joins. “Tribulation" is a slice of his creativity and passion to make music from a place deep inside him. He also inspires his bandmates to dive in completely and create “in the moment”
Well done and a triumph to his spirit of creativity.
Tracks: Tribulation, Eclipse, Hoexter’s Hex, Major Differences, Sharp Edges, Sketches of Trane
Musicians: Jacob Deaton, Guitar, Akeem Marable, Alto Saxophone, Nick Rosen, Piano, Craig Shaw, Bass, Justin Chesarek, Drums
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