Clay Ross,
The Random Puller
(Yale, 2005)

Armed with a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Charleston, South Carolina's Clay Ross turned down a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston to begin his professional career. What may have seemed like a possible career-ending mistake has not appeared to have done Ross any harm. This jazz guitarist makes his home as a regular in the New York City music scene. In 2005, the U.S. State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center selected Ross as a jazz ambassador; as a result Ross toured the U.S. and Europe.

The Random Puller is Ross' fifth release, both as a solo artist and as part of a group. The musical style of this album, which contains nine original tunes, is a progressive jazz -- more of an improvisational feel than a set pattern to the tunes. While there are only nine tracks on the CD, the album is a bit longer since only two of the tunes are shorter than five minutes in length.

Fans of the more traditional forms of jazz will find this music roams and wanders with no set forms and patterns; however, fans of the improv and progressive jazz forms will find it very much to their liking and will want to add The Random Puller to their music collections.

by Sherrill Fulghum
12 May 2007

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