By Nick Manteris · 0 Comments · Leave a Comment
New West is a jazz trio and their new album, Sleeping Lady, is entirely composed of music from acoustic guitars. A couple of the tracks feature a female vocalist, but the majority of the album is instrumental. New West’s last album featured both acoustic and electric guitars (and an additional band member) so their new sound is a bit different than what has come before.
This was another review requested through the website and, once again – aside from the very most basic reasons for soliciting a review, I’m really not sure why we were forwarded this CD. Jazz is not a form of music that I have very much experience with and it’s definitely one of the weaker elements in my musical arsenal. It’s a well-established genre with dozens of sub-genres and if you want to get started listening there’s almost a century’s worth of music that has already been recorded. It’s a daunting task…I mean, where do you start? I have listened to some of “the greats” and I can recognize the influence of jazz in other genres of music, but there’s just too much out there to have a real working knowledge of the subject…unless that’s one of the only things that you choose to focus upon.
From a technical standpoint, these musicians are obviously skilled: playing three of the same instruments simultaneously has got to be quite difficult. (You really need to use headphones to fully grasp the layers of sound that they’ve created here.) From an enjoyment standpoint, however, there wasn’t really anything on this disc that I could get into…the songs were split right down the middle between stuff that I could tolerate and stuff that I didn’t really care for. Even the addition of a female vocalist on “Never Had A Chance” failed to give them any extra points in my book. After several listens, “California” was the track that rose to the top – though the top was actually slightly below the middle. Admittedly, there are probably components to jazz that I haven’t yet learned to fully appreciate and it may very well be something that I just never get, so jazz aficionados might not want to trust my judgment completely on this particular review. I am curious to hear other opinions though, if any of you jazz cats out there want to share your thoughts.
Also: New West are currently on tour promoting Sleeping Lady and they will be performing at the E-String Grill in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 30 at 7:30pm