There’s really something to the idea that experience helps you see things more clearly. On the
transcendent "Watershed," guitarist John Stein’s 15th recording and 11th for Whaling City Sound,
Stein, and his simpatico band realize this set of deep grooves w
ith remarkable clarity. Aided by the
considerable talents of his band, including Frank Herzberg (bass), Zé Eduardo Nazario (drums),
Daniel Grajew (keyboards), and Teco Cardoso (flute and saxes), Stein manages to reveal the magic
hiding in these grooves and
rhythms. Each of Stein’s accompanists contribute to that discovery,
especially on tunes like the warm "Rio Escuro,” the quiet sassy funk of Pat Martino’s “Cisco,” and the
breezily melodic “Wally.” Stein, about to retire from his decades
long teaching care
er at Berklee
(also his alma mater) in order to play music full time, demonstrates a sturdy resolve to lay bare the
soul and the spirit of these songs, as well as the delicate beauty in his band’s performance.
Watershed is suffused with lyricism and artist
ic clarity as he raises the bar for his own future visions.