Oren Neiman,
First of All
(Wizard, 2006)

Oren Neiman serves up some very smooth jazz with First of All. If you want music that flows around you, that you can ease into and let it carry you away, this would be something to give a spin. The music is very good and constantly ties together so very completely.

The horns in the title track lend a warmth to the piece that eases you into the flow of the music. These lines are continued by the guitar as the piece continues and then are passed on again to the bass. The music paints arcs in the lines through "Imperfect Circle," and as it flows there is a sense that it is going to come around to the start. The music in "Miss Stress" is very relaxing and laid-back with a very easy flow to the melody.

The image set changes in "Skylark," and while the relaxed feel remains, it morphs to more of an easy cruise on the highways. The tempo picks up for "Crystal Clear," while the shifting lines in the music are all very clear. If you were to take the tempo of "Crystal Clear" and combine it with longer lines of "Skylark," it might give you something like "JKD" -- there is just something so very right about how the piece fits together.

The music in "A Mellow Drama" leans more towards mellow than drama, although the edges of discord can be heard at times. The CD then wraps up with "August," and the sometimes lazy feel that comes near the end of summer.

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music review by
Paul de Bruijn

8 January 2011

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