Monday, May 25, 2015

Album Review: Addison Frei- Intentions

Joey Alexander, an 11-year-old from Bali, has already garnered more media attention this year than most jazz musicians will receive in a lifetime.  While I’m impressed by his debut album, I don’t intend to listen to it again. 

Intentions, the debut album by Addison Frei, was released in 2014 to deafening silence.  As far as I can tell, the recording received a solitary capsule review.  No one has even bothered to leave a comment about Intentions at Amazon or iTunes

Not only is Intentions as technically accomplished as Alexander’s album, Frei’s work is far more interesting.  A jazz trio album supplemented by a vocalist on two tracks and saxophonist on a third, Intentions reveals Frei’s considerable promise.

The one-time resident of Lawrence, Kansas, is an imaginative composer.  Intentions also includes interpretations of material ranging from Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 to “Home on the Range.”

Frei and Alexander have absorbed the work of Brad Mehldau, but the former Kansas City area resident Eldar Djangirov may provide a more relevant comparison.  Like Eldar, Frei plays a lot of notes.  And like the former child prodigy and media sensation Eldar, Alexander is likely to learn that the audience for adult jazz pianists is comparatively small.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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