I can see why Jazz aficianados would rate this album highly, as the playing is technically superb, and the distribution and purity of the sound here is all the more extraordinary for having been recorded onto just two-track tape - quite incredible really. Even so, no matter how many times I play this album, it just doesn't 'click' with me, musically speaking.
Though the definition may not be strictly correct, the music here is what I'd think of as 'modal' (as in 'mood') Jazz, in that it creates an ambience, and as such I consider this to be Ambient music. I once defined the Ambient genre in the following terms, and I quote it here as it applies particularly well to this album:
"Ambient is a much misunderstood genre, often referred to as ‘musical wallpaper’, but if the derogatory tone of this comparison is set aside, the wallpaper analogy is actually an appropiate one. For Ambient music is not meant to be ‘listened’ to any more than wallpaper is meant to be looked at, and just as the ‘ambience’ of a room can be radically transformed by the choice of wallpaper, then the selection of an appropiate ambient music can substantially enhance the effect."
Blue & Sentimental
coincides precisely with this notion of being 'musical wallpaper', in that it is highly effective at creating a mood, or ambience. But sitting down and listening to this album is no more enjoyable for me than sitting down and staring at a wall covered in wallpaper. For no matter how exquisitely designed or expensive-looking the wallpaper may be, in the end it's still just wallpaper, and as such was never intended to be specifically looked at - rather, it's function is to stay in the background, and create or enhance the 'flavour' (mood or tone) of its surrounding environment.
by Reviewer: bluemoon