Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
Decent jazz-inflected dance music
on 29 April 2002
One should not read 'nu-jazz' as 'the contemporary incarnation of jazz', but as 'jazz-pop/house fusion'. For many decades there has been very worthwhile incorporation of current music styles into the genre (see for example the essential Hancock Headhunters funk recordings of the 70s). 'Tourist' is a similar endeavour, and a pretty good effort it is too, but it is separated from really good jazz on at least a couple of points. The best groups are distinguished by seemingly telepathic interplay between soloists and rhythm section, resulting in texture and cohesion unmatched in most modern music, and solos containing new, unclichéed, musical ideas. On 'Tourist' most of the backings are programmed and looped, so variation is near impossible. The repetition begins to grate after a few minutes, particularly on the tracks 'So Flute' and 'Sure Thing'. 'Latin Note' is better, and 'Rose Rouge' is an enjoyable track, but the problem permeates the entire album. The soloing on the album is ok (and it is well judged, fitting neatly with the grooves), but you won't get much better than average. For interesting and accessible contemporary jazz proper, try some Brad Mehldau or Joshua Redman. Take your time, listen hard, approach it with an open mind and it will reward you.
Yes, get this album, especially if you are coming from the side of pop or electronic music, and you will probably enjoy it. It is very good as jazz-inflected laid-back dance music.