Julian Shore – Which Way Now?

Tranquility is the theme for pianist Julian Shore’s Which Way Now? (Tone Rogue Records, 2016).

Shore plays solo on a few tracks. On half the songs, he’s accompanied by the quartet of Gilad Hekselman, guitar; Dayna Stephens, tenor sax; Aidan Carroll, bass; and Colin Stranahan, drums. Other contributes are Louis Godwin, alto sax; Noah Preminger, tenor sax and clarinet; Michael Mayo and Alexa Barchini, vocals on “Alpine”; Kurt Ozan, guitar, dobro and pedal steel; Jorge Roeder, bass; Samuel Torres, percussion; and Michael Thomas, clarinet, bass clarinet and alto flute.

Thomas joins the core quintet for “Back Home.” It’s a tranquil, traveling piece that conjures the image of an individual who had been away, perhaps for college or military service, making a long drive home. The music captures the soothing, calming effect of seeing familiar landscapes after months or years away. It’s symbolic of feeling refreshed energy that comes with knowing family and old friends are close. The instruments represent the traveler’s mood and reaction to the occasional sight of birds in flight or animals on the ground enjoying an afternoon romp.

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