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Edward Petersen

Upward Spiral

(Delmark; US: 21 Aug 2007; UK: Available as import)

This reissue of a 1989 performance culled from two shows is a great jazz album, nothing more and nothing less. Although the sound quality suffers at times because of the ‘80s technology—which results in Petersen’s sax sounding a bit lost in the mix—the songs speak for themselves. The intricate “Probably” shifts gears throughout. Then, supported by a seasoned cast, Petersen slows things down with the gentle, tender and airy title track, “Upward Spiral”, which has the same desired effects as the first cut. When Petersen is at his best—as is the case with the lengthy, Miles-tinted “Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear”—the music is pure magic. Petersen, who was asked by Ellis Marsalis to teach jazz in New Orleans, is also strong during “Onus B” while drummer Jeff Stitely provides pleasing fills and rolls. Another charmer is the stylish and soothing “Dan’s Idea”. No idea who Dan is, but ‘tis a good musical idea he came up with.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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