Duane Edwards

Time Machine

Duane Edwards
Time Machine
self-released

On his debut LP, Time Machine, Portland jazz bassist and music educator Duane Edwards and his quartet serve up a subdued, pristinely executed offering of Brubeckian, 1950s supper-club jazz that would have the staunchest traditionalists of that era happily tapping their feet. With the locked-in foundation of Edwards and drummer Cameron Lopez giving these sessions structure and weight, saxophonist Duncan Hardy and guitarist Evan Haines are free to express their impressive improvisational gifts. Yet even Haines’ wildest solos aren’t designed to make listeners look up from their entrées. Time Machine is consistently, and a tad disappointingly, pleasant. The track that grabbed me the most is “Ersatz 1954,” where Edwards’ sprightly walking bass provides an ideal complement for the feeling of hope that comes from being on the edge of spring; he tosses in a lively solo, as well. But even here, the mind wanders. On his website, Edwards describes the album as “the merger of my two primary influences, Miles Davis and Led Zeppelin.” I hear “Someday My Prince Will Come,” for sure. What I wouldn’t give for a little “When the Levee Breaks.”