NEON QUARTET – Catch Me

Edition

I gave up the hope of finding some guts, or just the vague semblance of an emotion, in this overly lengthy CD after the fourth spin. Stan Sulzmann (saxes), Jim Hart (vibes, marimba), Kit Downes (piano) and Tim Giles (drums) play a variety of harmless jazz characterized by dozens of overused ingredients shuffled, swallowed and thrown up in pieces where there’s absolutely nothing that one has not heard decades earlier from entities such as Oregon, Pat Metheny Group – in their under-average moments, that is – or (put your choice lightweight name here). Similarly to hundreds of analogous situations, great technique and inadequate heart. Certain tracks are, literally, mathematical exercises; difficult to execute for sure, but music is another thing altogether. Does anybody remember the movie Amazon Women On The Moon, where a cameo by B.B. King is used to launch a campaign to help the category of “Blacks With No Soul”? The same could be done in this circumstance by jazzmen who still perceive a pulse while they perform. Very refined, mildly cerebral, totally unremarkable.

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