Terry Gordon Quintet | Contemplations

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Jazz Fusion Moods: Type: Improvisational
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by Terry Gordon Quintet

Original, creative jazz with an emotional and stylistic range that stretches from sensitive balladeering with an emphasis on melody and mood, to unpredictable musical excursions.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Contemplations
9:49 $0.99
2. Fish Out Of Water
4:56 $0.99
3. Persistence
7:52 $0.99
4. Watching The Storm Go By
5:11 $0.99
5. Structural One-ness
13:08 $0.99
6. Anxious Moments
6:19 $0.99
7. 1*4*3
7:01 $0.99
8. Quest For Sanity
11:22 $0.99
9. Flowers That Beckon
6:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Contemplations features nine original compositions in a wide range of jazz styles. Throughout the C.D., the quintet reaffirms the distinctive commitment to unpredictability and innovation that has been its hallmark since the band formed in the early 1990s.

With more than 70 minutes of music, Contemplations covers a mixture of jazz styles from bop-oriented mainstream jazz to funk and unbounded free-form jazz featuring challenging melodies and abrupt changes of style and attack. For example, there are airy medium-tempo melodies, an up-tempo free-form romp, a mainstrem bossa-nova, an excursion in latin-tinged funk, a conventional jazz ballad, and a medium-up blues original.

The C.D. features Terry Gordon on trumpet and flugelhorn, Eric Walentowicz on saxophones and flute, Gordon Tibbits and George Muscatello on guitars, Jason Rafalak on bass, and Matthew Maguire on drums.



to write a review

Times Union, Albany, N.Y.

Jazz showcasing considerable range and top-notch players
Trumpeter Terry Gordon blows some hot horn on "Contemplations", the new album from his quintet, on Flying Gurnard Records. The C.D. features nine original tracks (two by saxman Eric Walentowicz and the rest by Gordon) that, while all fit neatly under the banner of jazz, showcase considerable range, from bossa nova to jazz-rock funk.

In addition to Gordon (who also plays some marvelous fluegelhorn) and Walentowicz (at his best on soprano sax), the band also features top-notch players including bassist Jason Rafalak and drummer Matthew Maguire, while the guitar chores are split between Gordon Tibbits and George Muscatello.


Adventuresome and unapologetic originals; tight ensemble; confident and brash im
The Terry Gordon Quintet has made music as a group for more than a decade, and it shows: their ensemble is tight and intuitive, their soloing bright and confident, and their improvisation brash and innovative.

Many of these nine originals (seven by Gordon and two by Walentowicz) are designed to stretch the envelope: the more conventional are bop-oriented mainstream interspersed with Latin jazz and funk; the more adventuresome are unabashedly and unapologetically rock-strewn and avant-garde. "Contemplations" is an aptly titled minor key Latin exploration, pensive and melancholic, while "Fish Out of Water" is a quirky, infectious blues, with strong trumpet and Scofield-like guitar solos. The composer Walentowicz achieves an oboe-like sound from his soprano; at times, the group has almost a chamber quality. "Persistence" is funk with a vengeance; Tibbits' guitar solo is rock candy, Gordon's trumpet is crisp but full-bodied, and Rafalak's bass solo crackles with energy and electricity.

The noteworthy flute playing of Walentowicz, plus solos all around, constitute "Watching the Storm Go By"; the changes are Latin spun sugar, sweet and simple but without a lot of nutritive value. "Structural One-ness", on the other hand, is tart and fusiony, more than 13 minutes on a miniscule theme, nagging, sort of like a musical toothache. Walentowicz's "Anxious Moments", titularly more frenetic, is actually more ordered, an interesting hard-bop song form built on what sound like fragments of whole-tone scale.

Another ballad, "1-4-3", features Gordon on fluegelhorn, as did "Contemplations", and provides an emotionally rich change of pace. But not for long. "Quest For Sanity", an apparently unsuccessful search, is nearly eleven and a half minutes of ordered chaos, unstructured and avant-garde, although the piece maintains a driving, rhythmic center throughout much of it. The eclectic and uneven ride ends, unruffled by a uniquely inspired drum solo, on a decidedly more contemplative note with the dreamy, slow ballad, "Flowers That Beckon".

Cadence Magazine

Eclectic influences...amazing saxophone...something for everyone.
From the first notes, Gordon and friends make clear their eclectic influences. Their sound and feel bring in much more rock and funk, noticeable from the drumming, to the electronics on the guitar, to the use of electric bass. The tunes are all by Gordon except for "Fish Out Of Water" and "Anxious Moments" which are by Walentowicz. "Contemplations" keeps vacillating between a sort of folk-jazz feel and straight swing. Walentowicz plays some amazing, eerie, very reedy soprano and Muscatello's guitar sounds like wind chimes at times. Rafalak plays a nice solo which leads to Gordon and Walentowicz entwining around each other. "Fish Out Of Water" is a straight, very cool swinger that starts off with a Gordon solo and then Muscatello who shows an entirely different personality. "Persistence" starts out as if it is going to be a ballad, but then drops into a funk groove with a twisted warp to it, along with some great exposed dissonances. "Structural One-ness" just hits you over the head with a very ugly guitar riff, but that seems the point, since we are now in fusion-jam land. "Anxious Moments" has a quirky, quite catchy melody that is announced by the band in unison, and the soprano sax then takes over, swinging right along with the rhythm section crisply supporting behind. This is definitly a cool tune. The ballad returns with "1*4*3", and Gordon opens beautifully, followed by some more inspired (tenor) sax with what sounds like organ in the background but actually is processed guitar chords. An enchanting mood is created by the band, quite different from what has preceded it. The beautiful mood is immediately destroyed, purposefully, by "Quest For Sanity" that starts with some very distorted and ugly guitar, but drops into a tight groove filled by more great Walentowicz that builds until it rhythmically breaks down, eventually becoming a funk groove. Gordon breaks in on Walentowicz and everyone drops out except the drums as they move into a 'Caravan'-like vibe. I have to give the band high marks for the extent to which they 'pushed the boundaries' of traditional forms and styles, not so much in the avant-garde manner, but by mixing in pop, rock, and funk. Most of the time this worked for me, in a live set this variety would certainly get noticed; something for everyone.