June 8, 2018
Yakima, WA, USA
The award winning jazz journalist, Doug Ramsey reviews 'Seeking Higher Ground' on his Rifftides blog.
The Maguire Twins, Seeking Higher Ground (Three Tree Records)
21 years old at the time of this 2017 recording, the identical Maguire twins—bassist Carl and drummer Alan—were born in Tokyo and raised in Hong Kong. In a dramatic change of scenery and culture, they moved with their parents to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2011. The brothers enrolled at the Stax Music Academy and came under the influence of bassist John Hamar, pianist Donald Brown and saxophonists Greg Tardy and Kirk Whalum. Brown is heard only on electric piano on one track. All of those musicians but Whalum and Hamar are on the twins’ debut album on their family’s label, as are pianist Aaron Goldberg and trumpeter Bill Mobley. The twins manage extremely well in that heavy company. Carl’s responsive drumming is impressive behind Goldberg on Brown’s “An Island, A Piano, and Keith,” dedicated to his son, also a pianist. Carl Maguire contributes two original compositions to the playlist, Alan one. Alan’s bass introduction is important to the success of his abstract arrangement of “Someday My Prince Will Come.” It will be interesting to follow this pair of promising rhythm players as they develop further.
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Carl Seitaro Maguire (ds)