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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

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Just East Of Jazz
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Just East of Jazz Records

By Phil Meadley

Published February 17, 2006

The third album from this experimental U.K.-based jazz quartet features a diverse range of influences from the Middle East and Asia via klezmer and Eastern Europe. Ostensibly the influences appear as jazz improvisations, so although a track such as “Mud Pie” features strong klezmer influences and stabs of rhythmic accordion playing from Neil Angilley, the omnipresent jazz structure remains. The album suffers from a rather two-dimensional instrumental direction, which although dynamic in places, never fully involves the listener. Although impressive in the virtuoso department, a greater reliance on global influences and the introduction of vocal textures would have made for a stronger recording. Still, bandleader Jeremy Shoham, bassist Phil Scragg, percussionist Rick Finlay and pianist Neil Angilley have produced a worthy hybrid of Eastern jazz flavors.

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