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Incandescence album cover
Knock On My Door
Portals Opening
Opening Portals
See Ya
Four Hand Job
Tell A Televangelist
Album Information

Total Tracks: 9   Total Length: 49:52

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Wondering Sound

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Britt Robson


Britt Robson has written about jazz for Jazz Times, downbeat, the Washington Post and many other publications over the past 30 years. He currently writes regula...more »

Bill Stewart, Incandescence
2008 | Label: Pirouet Records / Abeille Musique

This unique trio with organ and piano allows drummer Stewart the textural freedom to roam all over his kit — it's a tonic for the listener to hear the tom-toms and splash cymbal used for more than just an accent or dab of color. B-3 player Larry Goldings can comp a left-hand bass line but more often prances and twirls up a froth of soul, bop, and avant garde riffs, and pianist Kevin Hays likewise… read more »

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They Say All Music Guide

Drummer/composer Bill Stewart’s fifth recording as a leader leans toward an approach unique to instrumental music, utilizing two different-sounding keyboardists and no lead horns, strings, or percussion. This move reflects the influence of the recording Double Exposure, done by organist Larry Young and pianist/percussionist Joe Chambers. With the intelligent piano sound of Kevin Hays facing the spacy and soulful organ of Larry Goldings, Stewart is able to play in between and apart from them, allowing a freedom few drummers can enjoy, leader or not. Where Double Exposure was cerebral, Incandescence is earthy, modernized, and definitely contemporary rhythmically. Stewart is fond of funk and nonstandardized rhythms, working in the 10/8 time signature alongside the bouncy piano of Hays and the amorous organ of Goldings on “Knock on My Door,” while “Four Hand Job” uses a repeat melody in a rock jam framework. There’s a distinct element derived from the angular lines of Thelonious Monk heard throughout, where the keyboardists think as one during the swing blues “Toad,” go deeper blue and intricate for the duration on the construct of the best track, “Tell a Televangelist,” and hit up the neo-bop sound you expect from these young and experienced musicians for “Opening Portals.” They also go back to their original influences, using a stealth two-note stairstep theme very reminiscent of the Mahavishnu Orchestra on “Portals Opening,” and most closely assimilate the Larry Young signature sidereal style for the spooky, labyrinthine, creeping title track. Stewart plays the cymbal discourse “Metallurgy” with electric keyboard hums and moans, and inserts some healthy, muscular fills during the tracks, but not at great length. He’s a co-conspirator, not the mob boss. Hays and Goldings work well together, with Goldings frequently changing up the sound of his organ, which could very well be a modified C-3 church organ instead of the venerable B-3. Goldings also picks up the accordion for the delicate waltz “See Ya” alongside the curious piano of Hays. A stellar effort from these modern musicians who consistently challenge themselves and find new pathways of expressionism, Incandescence is an ever intriguing brew, and very listenable, which is really saying something. – Michael G. Nastos

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