Paul Tobey – It’s Time (ENG review)

Street date - June 28th 2024
Paul Tobey – It’s Time

Here is an album of good quality but showing no originality. It will particularly interest those who are well-acquainted with Paul Tobey’s work, as he makes a grand return after a twenty-year hiatus. Severe tendinitis in his forearms ended Paul’s touring career. These injuries forced Tobey to abandon an eight-album contract with the New York-based label Arkadia Jazz, right after his first release earned him a Juno Award nomination (the Canadian Grammys) for Best Traditional Jazz Album in 2004.

What we have here, then, are works everyone knows, played simply—a fitting approach after enduring so much pain. It has been two decades of recovery! And Paul has chosen to come back with a solo album titled It’s Time. This album was recorded on his 7-foot German grand piano, an Ibach. Recorded in his home studio in Niagara-on-the-Lake, it’s also from this studio that Paul broadcasts live on his YouTube channel called “JazzMentl.” His videos have already accumulated over 60 thousand hours of viewing and 1 million views in 24 months. He has attracted a jazz community of over 14 thousand jazz musicians from around the world.

As for the rest, this album is very pleasant to listen to, however, I wasn’t able to get into it or enjoy it like most of the albums I talk to you about day after day. His version of Take Five, unsurprisingly, also didn’t win me over. Therefore, I classify this album among the “good” albums, out of respect for the fine career of this artist who has received numerous awards, including Jazz Album of the Year, Pianist of the Year, and the IAJE Award for Service to Jazz Education. His creative projects have also been financially supported by several Canadian government organizations such as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record, the Ontario Arts Council, and Canadian Heritage for composition, touring, recording, and international development.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, June 14th 2024

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