Paul Tobey

Paul TobeyStreet Culture
Paul Tobey
(Arkadia Jazz- 2001)
by Dick Bogle

Pianist Paul Tobey gets a monumental assist from tenor saxophonist Mike Murley in making this recording the exciting rhythmic work it is. “Street Culture” gets its name from Tobey’s belief that cities and their dense populations are the breeding grounds of culture. Therefore, the opener, “Street Culture,” the title tune, with its bass-line reflects the human struggle with energy generated by the culture of everyday life.

Even the Internet is noted by Tobey in the tune “Netster,” an homage to a new force shaping our culture. Funny though, “Netster’s” rhythm reflects old New Orleans music.

I don’t know that it is important we labor trying to make the music somehow fit Tobey’s cultural reflections. The music is good enough and performed well enough to entertain on its own. Tobey is a highly skilled pianist who keeps original ideas flowing at a tempo matching the fast paced “In My Own Time.” He and Murley are comfortable executing their freshness over the fierce rhythms generated by drummer Terry Clarke and bassist Jim Vivian. No clichés here.