5/15/2024

Jazz Fusion Review: Keith Fiala-New Beginnings

Release Date: May 17, 2024

Label: Che Cosa Guardare

Website

When was the last time you listened to a sound jazz recording? One that had a fusion of ambient, chill, and new age mixed in? Well, it has been quite some time for this listener since I have heard a recording like Keith Fiala's New Beginnings.

"Let Go" starts things off grandly with much energy and emotion. It has a funky backbeat with an on-point rhythm section and some sharp guitar lines weaving throughout, as Keith's smooth trumpet lays down the foundation to build on. It's a great start to raise your spirits and get that blood pumping.

"She's So Sweet" is the latest track released before the full album's release on May 17th. It is sexy, smooth, and oh-so-sweet. The funky bass and guitar complement the trumpet quite nicely.

"Cityscape" hits the streets on a hot summer night. Think NYC with all the neon lights and the nightclubs full of people and music having a good time. It is nighttime in the city that never sleeps, and a musical soundtrack that keeps that energy flowing and growing. Jazz meets funk with just the right touch.

"Flow" starts with an excellent piano introduction as the trumpet slides in quickly. It is chill jazz for the easy chair on a moonlight night or a table for two in the corner with a candle burning so you can only see each other and nobody else—romance at a nice slow and easy pace. The beautiful trumpet with a prominent bass holds up the bottom end with authority and a softly touched drum for added elegance.

"Hollywood & Vine" returns to the city with different colors and attitudes. It's different than NYC. Here, we have movie stars, rock stars, and many exciting and well-to-do people. Is it a fa├žade, or does the music make it all real? Once again, the bass is prominent, leading the way as the trumpet quickly makes its point. A synth adds some layers for a different touch, playing a more significant role as the track moves closer to its conclusion. 

"Lorena" is very different from all the previous tracks. It starts with a Latin-flavored acoustic riff as the trumpet makes its entrance beautifully, as it always does. The timing is superb, and some excellent percussion keeps the atmosphere of the serenade to the ladies intact from beginning to end. It is an instrumental love song with all the trimmings to make it memorable and picturesque. Viva Fiala!

"How Long Can I Wait" starts with many different sounds converging simultaneously. It is hectic, and Keith's smooth-as-silk trumpet tempers the enthusiasm of the activities around it. It is one of the more distinct tracks and needs your ears' clarification. For me, it was progressive jazz fusion. It may take a few listens to get it.

"MB's Groove" is a slow and passionate groove, with the trumpet, bass, and drums seemingly in sync with the same purpose: to lay it down so you can get into “your groove” while listening. There is a short burst of the keys around the midpoint as the horn takes a break and then comes back to lead the way to the close. The track is so smooth; it is quiet storm jazz at its finest.

"Beyond Infinity" starts winding towards the end of this jazz omnibus, as more funk comes your way with a super funked-up bass with a low-end sound. A pedal is being used for that unique sound. Keith's trumpet just kills it straight on through. Then jazz to infinity and beyond with a cool keyboard section more than halfway through. It has a lot of different elements blending to make it one of the more unique tracks.

"Wits End" is the end, the curtain closer to a delightful jazz fusion listen. It ends appropriately with that very funky backbeat and guitar playing a complementary role to Keith's amazing trumpet playing. Some of the horn parts sound like classic 70s jazz and an excellent guitar with its wah-wah effects. It's a trip back in time to the modern way.

This could be New Beginnings for many listeners. For this jazz lover, it was a welcome return and reminder of how much I love jazz fusion and artists who are willing to push the boundaries of the genre, which Keith Fiala does on this recording with great success. This consistent and solid release keeps your attention from beginning to end.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

May 13, 2024

Tracks:

01. Let Go 

02. She’s So Sweet 

03. Cityscape 

04. Flow 

05. Hollywood & Vine 

06. Lorena

07. How Long Can I Wait 

08. MB’s Groove 

09. Beyond Infinity 

10. Wits End 


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