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Amethyst

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Amethyst album cover
01
Amethyst
12:17  
02
King Of Harts
7:37
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03
El Junque
7:32
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04
Melanos
10:11  
05
Irah
6:53
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06
Asylum
12:06  
07
Dirty Dogs
10:26  
Album Information

Total Tracks: 7   Total Length: 67:02

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They Say All Music Guide

The band Billy Hart assembled for this fine session is remarkable: John Stubblefield on tenor and soprano saxes, Mark Feldman on violin, David Kikoski on piano, David Fiuczynski on guitar, and Santi Debriano on bass. Marc Copland, who produced the album, plays keyboards on tracks five and six. Unorthodox textures abound, thanks to the fruitful juxtaposition of Feldman’s mournful violin, Fiuczynski’s overdriven yet lyrical guitar, and Stubblefield’s soaring saxes. Hart employs these three melody voices in various combinations, keeping the sound consistently fresh. The tracks do sound somewhat similar, however, tending toward open harmonic structures held together loosely by swing and Latin grooves. Each bandmember contributes one tune, save for Hart, who contributes two. Fiuczynski’s “Melanos” is the most unpredictable piece, with its screaming guitar solo and its Jeckyl-and-Hyde transitions between abstraction, cheery Latin, and uptempo swing. Feldman’s “Asylum” is also a good deal more unusual than the rest. Of Hart’s compositions, “Amethyst” falls roughly within the enigmatic, ethereal universe of his old band Quest with David Liebman and Richard Beirach, while “Irah” is painted in bolder strokes, with powerful solos by Feldman and Fiuczynski. The album ends with an interesting version of Kikoski’s “Dirty Dogs,” which graced the pianist’s 1989 album Presage. In short, there’s plenty of beautiful music on the album, plenty of representative brilliance from all these fine players, and even a substantial amount of originality and vision. – David R. Adler

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