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Monday, December 06, 2010
SEAN JEFFERSON - DREAMWORKS
Drummer/composer Sean Jefferson isn’t about rewriting the rules of jazz, he challenges jazz conventions by pursuing unpredictable paths, creating a body of work that ignites the senses. Instead of following generic patterns, Jefferson leads his fellow musicians – pianist Harold O’Neal, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, and bassist Richie Goods – into a spellbinding hybrid of cutting-edge and mainstream sensibilities. Equally influenced by iconic drummers such as Elvis Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Jeff “Tain” Watts as well as renowned composers like Aaron Copland and Paul Hindemith, Jefferson gained recognition as the drummer for the Grammy-nominated organ trio Paradigm Shift. Signed to Wycliffe Gordon’s label Bluesback Records, Jefferson first jammed with his new bandmates at the 2009 Rochester International Jazz Festival. The chemistry between them proved to be one that was made for a long-term bond, resulting in Jefferson’s latest album, Dreamworks. The CD establishes not only Jefferson’s robust drum work but also his keen compositional skills. Most of the tracks on the record are originals. However, Jefferson still injects his only cover, a remake of Thelonious Monk’s timeless classic “‘Round Midnight,” with a mood-spinning film noir vibe. The rest of the album, from the liquid flow of the title track to the disorderly conduct of “Awakening,” illustrates the balance of light and shadow between waking and dreaming. Dreamworks has already received praise from the “JazzTimes” website, calling it “a tightrope between high-brow experimentalism and metropolitan cool.” The CD distinguishes itself by remaining true to Jefferson’s uncompromising vision, refusing to be bound by any genre restrictions yet remaining melodic enough for the common fan.