Reviews and Recommended Jazz by Nick Bewsey

Category: Julian Shore

Julian Shore, Which Way Now?

A beautifully composed ensemble album from the pen and imagination of pianist Julian Shore, Which Way Now? (Tone Rogue) celebrates the act of discovery, of going places and experiencing life. Shore made a splash with his 2012 debut, Filaments, which demonstrated the quality and depth of his compositional talent, along with his skills as a leader. “Our Story Begins On The Mountain” is cinematically rendered and stocked with sweeping strings, and Shore’s warm touch at the keys makes for a welcome overture to the songs that follow.

The record is resolutely pretty, yet Shore invests in a degree of depth and unifying interplay that binds the stories together with a dazzling sense of rhythm and flow. His core band – guitarist Gilad Hekselman, bassist Aidan Carroll, tenor Dayna Stephens and drummer Colin Stranahan – achieves a remarkable coherence on tracks like “Back Home” and “Across The Ice.”. Sinuous horn playing, shuffling tempos, the beautiful vocals on “Alpine,” and the angular percussion of Dizzy Gillespie’s beguiling “Con Alma are just parts of the sonic adventure that Shore takes us on. In full, this is a luminous album from start to finish. With saxophonist Noah Preminger and percussionist Samuel Torres. (10 tracks; 59 minutes)


The sophomore album from the 24-year old pianist, Julian Shore, is a delight for a couple of reasons. It’s an album of modern jazz songs that anybody can listen and relate to, the result of the collaboration between singer and lyricist Alexa Barchini and Shore, who wrote all the music and gives the tunes shape and purpose. A fluid player with a sure touch and modernist appeal, Shore has played with singer Gretchen Parlato, guitarists Gilad Hekselman, drummer Kendrick Scott and saxophonist Noah Preminger – in other words, all the bright and notable players on the NY jazz scene.

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