Mike Curtis / Jazz & Ethnic Journeys

interesting watercolorish wanderings, trite type Mike Curtis
Jazz & Ethnic Journeys

Web: www.drumshtick.com/mikecurtis
E-mail: mcwws@hotmail.com.

Mike Curtis has been purveying good jazz-inflected klezmer for many years. What I hadn't happened to hear was the variety of other jazz he had been playing over the years. This new CD, bringing together a sort of "best of" collections from his various ensembles, helps to bring enlightenment.

Two tunes here, "Kasimierz" and "Freylechs fun der Khupe" are from 1997's very satisfying "Street Song" CD. The rest are new to me. Nothing here is radically new, but all are quite satisfying, and nicely exhibit Curtis' slow, intriguing, (primarily) soprano sax chops. In "Ernie," for instance, the quietly insistent percussion highlight a questing, almost desert-call exploration. Later, on "The Man in the Bathtub," he and Dave Leslie (piano) exchange quiet licks back and forth. On Khyberian Catfit, the pass picks up as he works with an insistent, somewhat Asian melody. Of particular interest are the improvisations on sequence. Curtis' explorations around the sequences and rhythms create a space in which sound and not-sound swirl together melodically.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow 6/21/03


  1. Left Coastin' (Mike Curtis) 4:07
  2. Kasimierz (Dave Leslie) 5:21
  3. Ernie (Zambezi) (improvised on sequence) 4:17
  4. Broken Circle (Dave Leslie) 4:10
  5. Khyberian Catfit (Mike Curtis) 3:58
  6. Momentarily 13 (improvised on sequence) 4:22
  7. What (Dave Storrs) 3:31
  8. Just Say Yes (improvised on sequence) 3:23
  9. Sarajevo (Dave Leslie) 5:59
  10. Kasanga (improvised) 7:37

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