Adam Niewood: Where's the Cat???


Where's the Cat???


Adam Niewood & His Rabble Rousers


Epic Journey: Volumes I & II (Innova 708)

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Adam Niewood (saxes, clarinets),

Kristja Randalu (piano, Fender Rhodes), Jesse Lewis (guitar), Matt Brewer (bass), Greg Ritchie (drums), Rohin Klemani (percussion)


Composed by Adam Niewood


Recorded: Hampton, NJ, June 2007


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Having been a fan of Gerry Niewood's saxophone playing in the '70s, I was anxious to see if the acorn had fallen far from the tree. Happily, the son has learned well from the musings of his father and an apparently musical mother, too! In this 2-CD set, Niewood and cohorts take both carefully orchestrated and free-form forays into the musical unknown. This offbeat tune from Volume I starts in a marching, chant-like way with Fender Rhodes, guitar and saxophone synchronously matching notes to the tin-soldier beat of taut traps and snappy rim-shots provided by dual percussionists. The tune builds tension via the evermore urgent tone of Niewood's meandering solo. The steady marching beat builds in a carefully climbing crescendo that seems ready to explode until an intermediate release introduces Randalau's playful and effective Fender Rhodes solo, which starts the buildup once again. The song finally settles gently into a calm refrain at the coda. This group displays a wonderful affinity for making the whole better than its parts, and Niewood shows promise as a composer of quirky but interesting, mood-evoking music.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello


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