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Jazz - Released January 18, 2019 | Intakt Records

Jazz - Released June 30, 1996 | Songlines

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Recording under the group name of Human Feel, are Jim Black (percussion), Andrew D'Angelo (reeds) and Chris Speed, who emerges as the dominant voice with his sometimes frenetic tenor saxophone and clarinet. Speed is a compelling player with an original voice, and he contributed three of the ten tunes. Andrew D'Angelo joins him on alto and bass clarinet, the latter of which is particularly effective. As to be expected, Jim Black's dynamic, swirling drums are a continual highlight. Kurt Rosenwinkel rounds out the group with his sometimes aggressive, sometimes atmospheric, often horn-like guitar. The music is mostly a group effort and succeeds on its own terms. If there is a criticism, it is a slight and occasional lack of focus. Overall, though, there is much to enjoy. ~ Steve Loewy

Contemporary Jazz - Released January 18, 2019 | Intakt Records

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Jazz - Released April 25, 2007 | Skirl Records

After about a decade-long hiatus, Human Feel are back with a vengeance and arguably their best album yet. Members Chris Speed, Andrew d'Angelo, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Jim Black have not remained idle during that time and the experience they have garnered undoubtedly helped improve this communal project. They perform rhythmically and melodically varied material penned by each of the musicians as well as a piece by guitarist Hilmar Jensson, whose aesthetic fits the band like a glove. At first, what grabs the attention as well as provides the adrenaline rush are their sonic assaults. Saxophones roar and squeal over angular guitar riffs and thrashing drums. The foursome, however, is most impressive when it tones down the volume. The magnificent and swirling "Cat Heaven" is a truly innovative piece, while the delicate "Serenade" or the rock ballad "Allegiance" efficiently complement the playful and raucous compositions. Finally, an epic centerpiece works as a suite that summarizes the group's intentions and captures the various moods that inhabit the session. This influential and turbulent quartet has spawned a number of bands that weld the complexity of jazz with the raw energy of rock, but none has been as successful and fully realized as this one. ~ Alain Drouot