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LA Jazz Scene

LA Jazz Scene

David Joel is a versatile guitarist who uses the sound breaking innovations of fusion in his playing but is also quite capable of playing viable straight ahead jazz and blues too. He graduated from Berklee in 1986, earned a Masters from the New England Conservatory of Music, and has been based in his native Philadelphia since 1996. He has since taught extensively, performed in plays, and led his own quartet on the East Coast.

On Spiral Sky, Joel teams up with the colorful keyboardist John Stenger, bassist Paul Gehman, and drummer Don Monaghan. The group performs eight of Joel’ s originals which range from rockish pieces to the quieter “Little Bear,” from major productions like “Spiral Sky” to the bluish “The Star-Spangled Gospel.” While Gehman and Monaghan are stimulating in support, Joel and Stenger are the main solo voices, creating unpredictable improvisations and a wide variety of colors in the ensembles. The music is “contemporary” without being smooth or pop; nor is it limited to the style of 1970s fusion. It has the “sound of surprise” of the best jazz yet crosses several genres and can be best described as modern electric music.

This varied and recommended set is available from www.davidjoel.net.