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Sticks and Strings

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 31 Mar 2008
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Mar. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jazz Eyes
  • ASIN: B000XULOWU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,688 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

Joe Locke is considered by may to be the most gifted vibraphonist of his generation. Here he is with Jonathon Kreisberg (guitars), Jay Anderson (bass) and Joe La Barbera (drums). The album contains two amazing standards, five Joe Locke compositions, one by the bassist and one by the drummer. Tracks: Time Like The Present / The Rosario Material / Sword Of Whispers / Terzani / All Of You / A Word Before You Go / Appointment In Orvieto / I Fall In Love Too Easily / Sixth Sense.

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Format: Audio CD
This album stands out for its honesty and perfect balance between melodic warmth and highly inventive improvisation. It's simple complexity of the highest quality.

Here's what John Kelman of All About Jazz had to say:

Joe Locke has always struck that rare balance between reverence for things past and a forward-thinking mindset. Live in Seattle (Origin, 2006) brought a firm, modernistic edge to a set of original material by the vibraphonist and keyboardist/co-leader Geoffrey Keezer. Rev-elation (Sharp Nine, 2005), teaming Locke with the Milt Jackson Tribute Band, was steeped in the tradition, although Locke never lost sight of his personal extension of that tradition.

Sticks and Strings, featuring up-and-coming guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg alongside veteran bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Joe La Barbera, straddles the line better than any of Locke's previous efforts, with contemporary treatments of two well-known standards augmenting a program of originals by Locke, Anderson and La Barbera. It proves that there needn't be a dividing line between the old and the new, and that the best players look simultaneously backwards and forwards.

The lengthy credentials of Locke, Anderson and La Barbera make their bi-directional viewpoints unsurprising, making Kreisberg the real wild card. Capable of swinging firmly on the ambling Cole Porter classic "All of You," and navigating changes with ease on a soft, Latin-esque take of Julie Styne's "I Fall in Love Too Easily," Kreisberg demonstrates, on the originals, that he's not left his progressive days of a decade ago completely behind him.
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Format: Audio CD
I love it! From the old fashion black disc, to the few lines written by the master, to the music itself.

Even though each of Joe Locke's album is great and specific, this one may be, to me, the most cool and easy one since the Story Telling both issues.

Though this time no lyrics by the vibes, but the beautiful guitar of Jonathan Kreisberg: what a joyful, inventive gifted young musician! Surrounded by veterans rhythm section Jay Anderson and Joe La Barbera, Joe Locke seems to have found the perfect musketeer team!

No lyrics, but not no voice: on most solos J. Kreisberg let himself go in a background, very low but free and cheerful double singing, which adds to the already comfortable atmosphere.

And surely, this is completely a Locke release: by the compositions, in the interpretation of both standards, in the solos, in his "own tricks", in the spirit of the whole disc. In ballads like in be-bop or speed pieces. Man are they all cooking!! And how many times is this "poor vibes" on fire!

There is just a little something new. Mainly shown in both pieces "Terzani" and "Sixth Sense". Is it the sounds, or in the rhythm, in the riffs? Is it a little something "less jazz", more powerful, I don't know, but it's something I love!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow....Joe Locke Does It Again! Very Good Album 21 Dec. 2007
By Transfigured Knight - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Sticks and Strings" released on Jazz Eyes, 2007 is one of Joe's finest albums next to his album with Frank Kimbrough called "The Willow," his own albums "Mutual Admiration Society" and "Beauty Burning." This is such a beautiful album and all the musicians have done a fantastic job realizing Locke's musical vision. The musician's are:

Joe Locke - vibraphone
Jonathan Kreisberg - acoustic and electric guitars
Jay Anderson - bass
Joe La Babera - drums

The whole album is great from start to finish. If you're already familiar with Locke's work and own some of his albums then I'm sure you're going to pick it up sometime, but if you're not familiar with his work then this would be a good starting place. All the musicians are fantastic and provide great support to each other and service the compositions with great feeling and emotion.

This album will probably end up on several Best of 2007 lists. Check it out!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joe Locke CD 17 Jun. 2010
By R. Muszynski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nice album with good music. Had to buy after I saw them in person at Dizzy'z in NYC.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense beauty of innovative melodies 7 Jan. 2008
By Nadja von Massow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album stands out for its honesty and perfect balance between melodic warmth and highly inventive improvisation. It's simple complexity of the highest quality.

Here's what John Kelman of All About Jazz had to say:

Joe Locke has always struck that rare balance between reverence for things past and a forward-thinking mindset. Live in Seattle (Origin, 2006) brought a firm, modernistic edge to a set of original material by the vibraphonist and keyboardist/co-leader Geoffrey Keezer. Rev-elation (Sharp Nine, 2005), teaming Locke with the Milt Jackson Tribute Band, was steeped in the tradition, although Locke never lost sight of his personal extension of that tradition.

Sticks and Strings, featuring up-and-coming guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg alongside veteran bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Joe La Barbera, straddles the line better than any of Locke's previous efforts, with contemporary treatments of two well-known standards augmenting a program of originals by Locke, Anderson and La Barbera. It proves that there needn't be a dividing line between the old and the new, and that the best players look simultaneously backwards and forwards.

The lengthy credentials of Locke, Anderson and La Barbera make their bi-directional viewpoints unsurprising, making Kreisberg the real wild card. Capable of swinging firmly on the ambling Cole Porter classic "All of You," and navigating changes with ease on a soft, Latin-esque take of Julie Styne's "I Fall in Love Too Easily," Kreisberg demonstrates, on the originals, that he's not left his progressive days of a decade ago completely behind him. Adopting a grittier tone for La Barbera's altered 5/4 blues, "Sixth Sense," he mixes in-the-gut phrases with lithe intervallic shifts--the perfect setup for Locke's equally impressive solo, supported by Anderson and La Barbera's visceral groove.

This isn't the first time Locke has worked with a guitarist--his work on Vic Juris' Blue Horizon (Zoho, 2004) is especially noteworthy, alongside Locke's discs with Paul Bollenback--but it's never sounded this seamless, this comfortable. It would be easy to think of Gary Burton's on-again, off-again work with Pat Metheny, but only at the most superficial of levels. On Locke's winding but ultimately lyrical samba-esque "Terzani," the vibraphonist's unexpectedly abstract a capella solo and Kreisberg's equally abstruse, sonically processed duet with La Barbera are only half the story, with both turning in dexterous but effortlessly melodic ensemble-backed solos elsewhere on this and other tracks.

The fiery "The Rosario Material" and up-tempo swinger "Appointment in Orvieto" show Locke's ability to write complex tunes that sing. But Sticks and Strings' highlight may well be "A Word Before You Go," where Locke's affinity for evocative balladry proves that the most innocent melody and simplest changes can sometimes be the most moving.

It's always risky, with a track record like Locke's, to describe his latest record as his best yet. Where Sticks and Strings will place when the book is closed on his discography many years in the future is uncertain. For now, he's never sounded better, with vibrant writing and unrelentingly fine playing/interplay, further proof that Locke is amongst the finest vibraphonists on any scene.

[...]
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JOE LOCKE FORMS THE MOST PERFECT BAND SO FAR 21 April 2008
By blueish - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
FLUID MUSICAL MELODIC INNOVATIVE AND CAPTIVATING .I have heard a lot of joe locke s fine works but this one seem to be his most expansive one in finesse .IMO his present band is the main reason for this superfine result.
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