For Away Places
22 year old pianist Julian Shore's debut project For Away Places, is a tangibly personal body of work. In it, the young composer attempts to share a soundtrack (of sorts) to several important moments and experiences in his life, and relays these with surprising clarity and authenticity. Ranging from swing, to rock, to samba and beyond, the songs are memorable, diverse and honest. Shore is joined by a fabulous cast of extraordinarily talented young musicians. 'I Journey Alone' features an especially memorable solo by alto player Godwin Louis; a cerebral, expressive and virtuosic performance. 'misdirection/determined' is an enchanting, almost ghostly duet, featuring the exquisite voice of Alexa Barchini, who also wrote the lyrics. It is a highlight, to be sure. The energy peaks on 'How Could This Happen?' a driving acoustic rock piece with strong and intense solos by both Shore as well as young tenor player Jesse Scheinin. Drummer Devin Drobka and bassist Aaron Darrell are consistently supportive, creative and grooving, especially evidenced on the title track which also spotlights the leader's improvisational abilities, as well as tasteful additions by guitarist Jeff Miles. This record is a startlingly mature debut album, and an accessible and sincere collection of original music. A fantastic listening experience.