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Jim Ridl: Blue Corn Enchilada Dreams

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With trumpeter Terell Stafford, bassist John Benitez and drummer Donald Edwards, pianist Jim Ridl traverses a wide stylistic swath of music, compositions informed by a series of poems he wrote after vacationing in New Mexico. The hard-driving “Chilis Rule” is fueled by Stafford’s boppish high-note flurries and Edwards’ insistent swing. “I Taste in Color” opens with a gently introspective piano solo before morphing into an earthy, tribal funk groove for Stafford to wail on. Ridl’s arranging skills are highlighted on the synth-laden “Why Wait for the Saints?,” which opens with a stylized classical fanfare. The tender “Scoria Hair,” dreamy “The Wind Gleans” and breezy “Blue Tortilla Waltz” show Ridl’s penchant for pleasing melodies, while “God Is a Canopy,” a tone row played as a canon by overdubbing four pianos, reveals yet

another side of his expansive musicality.

Originally Published