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Turning Point: A Thousand Stories

Brothers Thano and Demitri Sahnas (on guitar and bass, respectively) lead the quartet Turning Point through A Thousand Stories (A-440 Music Group) ranging from bright and breezy open-road jazz to frisky soul. The group strives for diversity on its journey, but ends up meandering into stylistic experiments generating varying degrees of listener interest. Demitri’s bass work shines in the spotlight of funkier pieces like the pumping soul walk “The Song Formerly Known as ‘Track #5′” (which is also the album’s grittiest tune), but sinks under the weight of clunky keyboard changes on the garden variety club piece “Wide Open Spaces.” Thano also shows an impressive range on guitar, with poignant picking creating bittersweet nostalgic colors for “Athena” and needling runs propelling the lithe Latin flow of “Estrella,” but the impact of his work is lessened by some of the album’s more generic arrangements. Many of the group’s genre dabblings introduce interesting colors-like the Native American chant and stomp of “Tribal Voices,” and the languid bass contrasting frenzied rhythm on “A Thousand Stories”-only to see them dissolve into a typical smooth-jazz puddle. This makes for listenable, if not ultimately memorable, background music.

Originally Published