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Taking a Turn by Steve Greenbaum

Sometimes, when life takes an unexpected turn, you"re lucky enough to find what is important to you. Steve Greenbaum did just that when his life took a sudden change of direction. Inspired and with newfound time on his hands, Steve began focusing more of his time on writing music. The result is Taking a Turn. What started out as a solo acoustic guitar project influenced by Pat Metheny and the ECM Records sound, evolved into one of the most interesting modern jazz releases of the year.

Taking a Turns compositions are tasteful warm and inviting making them accessible to even novice jazz fans and are characterized by their delicate passion and strong imagery. His unorthodox acoustic guitar playing is at the heart of these songs. Unrushed tempos and subtle melodies leave ample space for inspired improvisation by his jazz sidemen on trumpet sax piano and harmonica.

Steve has been developing his sound since he first heard the guitar playing of Pat Metheny and Larry Coryell in college. Intrigued he followed the trail of Metheny's side projects and discovered recordings by John Abercrombie Bill Frisell and others. Also around this time Steve discovered the acoustic finger-style guitar playing of Michael Hedges and Adrian Legg. Amazed that music from a single guitar could be so captivating Hedges' and Legg's extensive use of alternate tunings pushed him to explore further. These new tunings led to the writing of Taking a Turn.

Greenbaum's musical influences are evident throughout the disk. The album's liner notes salute the Grammy Award winning album Beyond the Missouri Sky by Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden. The influence of that recording is most evident on "November Unfolding" a poignant acoustic guitar piece with an acoustic bass accompaniment. "Outbound" blends jazz and a western tinged motif to provide a Bill Frisell-like Americana feel to the song. Reportedly seeing Toots Thieleman in concert during the project sparked the use of harmonica on this track.

"A remarkable achievement! How Mr. Greenbaum superimposes classical elements into jazz instrumental solos divesity of mood often pastoral in character is nothing short of amazing." stated Gregory Walczak a Tower Records associate.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Steve Greenbaum
  • CD Title: Taking a Turn
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Record Label: Sixfive Music
  • Artist's Instrument: Guitar
  • Short URL: http://jazzreview.com/q88
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