Forrest Dylan Bryant

Forrest Dylan’s Contributions

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August 2008    Undertones

The Prince’s Groove
Vince Seneri

Hammond-B3 burner Vince “The Prince” Seneri turns out good-rockin’ hallelujah soul and cool Latin accents with swaggering flair. But his greatest gift might be in attracting the right players to support these dynamite grooves and smooth strolls. While Seneri’s...

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August 2008    Undertones

That That
Jesse Stacken

Only one of the dozen tracks on pianist Jesse Stacken’s first full-length release passes the five-minute mark. But these brief structures contain broad, unique vistas, giving Stacken’s excellent trio surprising room to stretch out. The compositions are loosely...

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August 2008    Undertones

Medicine Man
Tom Tallitsch

Expanding from a duo setting to a quintet for his sophomore CD release, Tom Tallitsch offers up pleasant, unassuming original compositions that keep the proceedings casual but agreeably propulsive. With Tony Miceli’s brisk vibraphone and Victor Baker’s uncluttered...

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August 2008    Undertones

Synesthesia
Nick Vayenas

Nick Vayenas’ slide and valve trombone melodies are simply stated. But placed in a variety of settings—titanium-clad neo-fusion grooves, hipster postbop strolls or gauzy, drawn-out ballads—they paint a multifaceted portrait of a young composer finding a...

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August 2008    Undertones

Play That Thing
Rick Wald 16/NYC

This unconventional big band may not have the name recognition of some other ensembles, but it offers as rich and engaging an experience as you’re likely to find anywhere. Saxophonist Wald’s pliant, modernist compositions and spiky arrangements of classics...

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June 2008    Undertones

Arrival
Omer Avital

Although Omer Avital’s arrival as a creative force occurred more than a decade ago, this richly evocative disc serves as a time capsule of sorts, revisiting 11 tunes the Israeli-American bassist wrote from 1998-2001. Building on straightforward themes while...

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June 2008    Undertones

Turning Point
BMR4

The members of Chicago quartet BMR4 have roots in both jazz and blues. They easily bridge the gap in this set, a cheerful straightahead mix with sources ranging from Fats Waller to James Brown to Black Sabbath. Saxophonist Jay Moynihan plays soulful tenor...

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June 2008    Undertones

Gratitude
Hadley Caliman

It’s been 31 years since his last album, but veteran West Coast saxophonist Hadley Caliman shows he’s still got chops in this brisk, joyous return. Caliman’s tone has a natural, humanist sound, with a soft edge and a voicelike cadence that makes even quick...

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June 2008    Undertones

Everybody’s Got a Name
Greg Chako

Greg Chako is an American guitarist who has spent the bulk of his career gigging across East Asia. His straightahead, coolly swinging sound is heard in trio and quartet arrangements on this release, mostly originals with a jam-session feel. While much of...

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June 2008    Undertones

Gerald Cleaver’s Detroit
Gerald Cleaver

Drummer Gerald Cleaver’s homage to his hometown is a no-nonsense affair, offering an unblinking portrait of the city’s bygone grandeur, rich jazz history and slow, sad decay yet still casting an optimistic eye toward the future. Weaving together sturdy postbop...

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June 2008    Undertones

Awakenings
Chris Cortez

Acoustic guitarist Chris Cortez brings a conversational approach and upbeat attitude to these 10 contemporary tunes, many of which have a Latin streak. Cortez’s lilting lines create a beautifully overdubbed duet on “Palmettos” and merge gracefully with vibes...

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June 2008    Undertones

The Message
Evidence Jazz Group

Making the case for the jazz scene in Grand Rapids, Mich., this capable quintet offers up a nice mix of hard-bop and contemporary Latin sounds. Saxophonist Michael S. Doyle leads the group with an informal sense of swing and concise solo statements, but...

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June 2008    Undertones

Reptilian Fantasies
Bruce Gertz Quintet

Bassist Bruce Gertz lays a solid foundation for this set, taking the spotlight only intermittently as he shapes 13 modern-jazz tracks ranging from exotic, winding melodies and gently creeping conversations to buoyant hard-bop and freewheeling rhythmic exercises...

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June 2008    Undertones

TimeLine
Steve Giordano’s Spacetet

Steve Giordano’s guitar is ringing and translucent, sharply etched against the icy-cool sound of his Spacetet ensemble’s third CD. The group dynamic is very light and airy, with a wide-open, spontaneous sound that comes at the listener in gentle waves. Alto...

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June 2008    Undertones

Brand New
Alex Graham

Reinterpreting jazz standards and soul classics with equal vigor, alto saxophonist Alex Graham rolls, honks and swings in this upbeat, breezy set. A first-class band joins him, with David Hazeltine’s jolly piano setting much of the mood. There are unexpected...

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June 2008    Undertones

Cheesecake
Bob Leto Trio

A chummy atmosphere permeates this easygoing set, as drummer Bob Leto gives nine modern-jazz standards a brisk yet understated workout. Leto’s rhythms are dynamic yet in-the-pocket, somehow both chugging and transparent, and spiked by sudden splashes of...

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About Forrest Dylan Bryant

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Forrest Dylan Bryant is a writer/webmaster/broadcaster living in the San Francisco Bay Area. An active member of the Jazz Journalists Association, Forrest was elected to the JJA’s board of directors in 2005. For JT, Forrest wrote the Undertones CD-review column from 2007-2008. Forrest maintains his own website, The Jazz Observer, at jazzobserver.com and hosts a weekly radio program, “No Cover, No Minimum,” on Stanford University's KZSU-FM.