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Motions by Jon Bentley Quintet

Jon Bentley’s new album entitled "Motions" reflects starkly different moods and tales. It’s a brilliant creation composed of separate stories without plots. The music is so good that it is cinematic which allows the listener to conjure up the characters and what happens. Bentley’s music just sets up the mood and creates the framework for a story to be told. Appropriately enough, the initial piece is entitled ‘Storytime.’

‘Stakeout 3451’ is an apt title as it sounds as if it is filled with twilight shadows, edgy nerves and uncertain motives. One wonders who is staking out whom. This is almost a companion piece to ‘Queen of the Box Office.’ While ‘Stakeout’ is game, ‘Queen’ is filled with ambiguity and regret. It’s an introspective, noirish piece that brings to mind Norma Desmond’s descent.

"Low Road’ is a snappy tale of the open highway. There is a luxuriously freedom, like riding in 1963 Cadillac convertible on a blacktop to anywhere. It’s impulsive, joyful as it flaunts its way by those who that are left in the dust.

‘Remembering Chris’ is slow moving dirge reflecting the memory of a lost one who has touched different lives. Out of the bitter regret, there is a ray of thankful joy, expressed by the trumpet, which permeates the song.

Overall, "Motions’ emerges out of a hard bop framework that has higher aspirations. It succeeds in that it compels one to listen and re-listen, interprete and re-interprete, dream and re-dream its tales. Highly recommended.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jon Bentley Quintet
  • CD Title: Motions
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Tracks: Storytime, Stakeout 3451, Queen of the Box Office, The Low Road, remembering Chris, Prepared, Undertones, Leytonstone, Infinite Justice, Full Circle, Heyoke Part III, Motions
  • Musicians: Chris Gestrin (piano), Andre Lachance (bass), Jon Bentley (tenor and soprano saxophones), Brad Turner (trumpet, Flugelhorn), Bernie Arai (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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