Dave Hawley - Open Till Late

Released: March 4

 On it's face, Open Till Late is a mostly straightforward jazz album that adds in splashes of rock, post-rock, and dashes of ambient and experimental stuff as well. It's a pretty interesting listen all the way through as it begins with some rather smooth jazz sounding stuff on the opening track "Saudade" but by the end it has gone through all sorts of variations of jazz music. Now, I am aware that the term smooth jazz comes with a bit of its own baggage but I think in the case of the opening track it's appropriate as it starts things off a bit slowly and rather saxophone heavy (a definite plus in my book). Moving on from this though, we come to "Blatherskite" which still has a few of those smooth notes from the opener but definitely leans hard in to the jazz rock fusion category, still keeping that saxophone here for this one.

It's at the third track that things take a bit of a turn. Previously, it had all clearly been jazz oriented but "Thrum" goes in a much different direction with reversed notes and a much more ambiguous structure. It's quite different but it makes for a really neat interlude in between two very jazz-rock oriented tracks.  Later on in the album there are two other tracks that also serve a similar purpose, "Eigengrau" and "Fettle." Both of these are very simple little piano solos that sit in between two more upbeat songs. Well, except for "Fettle;" this one just takes us straight tot the final track "Bogue,"which definitely strikes a quite different mood for the rest of the tracks. 

The final track is one of my favorites as it sounds like an interesting blend between ambient, jazz, blues and a ballad. It's a rather slow and sultry number that features all of the jazz exploration heard throughout the album but slows it down to a degree that is on the level of the third track with all its slow weirdness. While this was definitely my favorite track on the whole album, it made it much easier to appreciate everything that came before it. Hawley and the other musicians he collaborated with on this one made something with a lot of different moods and motifs. It also took the idea of fusion in a direction I really enjoyed as it didn't simply throw a few rock-esque riffs in and call it a day. It took the opportunity to experiment and do some unexpected things while making sure to not drift too far from its jazz grounding. 


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