Warmth oozes out of the music on this CD created by guitarist Corey Christiansen and his quartet, a comfy blend of contemporary jazz, bop or post-bop, and soul-jazz. Organist Pat Bianchi and saxophonist David Halliday create that feeling, playing unison lines that, between the three instrumentalists, give the listener a comfort zone that is both refreshing and accessible, given the more complex music modern jazz usually offers up. To say it’s pleasant or easy on the ears is perhaps too polite, because this music has plenty of depth via its effusive tones during “Down Time,” the laid-back New Orleans-style shuffle funk “When You Want,” where everyone plays melody together, or the flowing, effortless “Carefree” in 6/8 time. The group does spend time in hard and furious bop and hot funk John Scofield style, or lugubrious R&B funk, but they are best heard when things are steamy and well-lubricated. Between the tenor or organ lies the edited and sparse guitar of Christiansen, whose main source of income is as an educator at Utah State University or Indiana University. Recorded in the unlikely jazz spot of Provo, UT, Corey Christiansen’s second CD for the Origin label bears the unwieldy title of Outlaw Tractor, but don’t let that fool you. It’s an urbane, sophisticated, accessible, uptown effort that comes easily recommend to all.
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