‘Strange Beauty’ rich in aural allure - www.jewishaz.com: Arts & Features

‘Strange Beauty’ rich in aural allure

AJ FROST | Special to Jewish News | Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 10:00 am

These last several weeks have been tumultuous, to say the least. The upheaval on the political scene has caused me consternation, distress, woe, and, finally, (some) acceptance. We are going into uncharted waters. And when I’m feeling uneasy, I tend to retreat into the one consistently calming elixir that soothes my nerves and gives me the space for some self-reflection: jazz. It may seem like a peculiar remedy. But in my experience, I’ve found that jazz, especially of the mid-tempo variety, has the uncanny ability to lend me a bit of comfort as well as the opportunity to pause and take stock of the world in all of its perplexing pulchritude. 

Which is why I found the latest release from local jazz guitarist and Arizona State University professor Jeff Libman to be the tonic to get me out of my post-election stupor. His most recent solo release, titled “Strange Beauty” (Cellar Live), is a real treat for listeners, a perfect melding of jazz classicism with a modern sensibility. Through the eight stylishly-fashioned contemporary-leaning tracks featured on the album – a mixture of pop, bebop and original tunes – Libman and his band allow listeners to escape into soundscapes that are warm, inviting, and rich in aural allure. 

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