Sunday, July 12, 2015
The Heat Is On But the Sounds Are Cool
But, if you head to the CT shoreline, there is usually a breeze coming off of Long Island Sound plus, every weekend, The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme is home for the coolest sounds around.
The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the band hits the stage at 8:30. To learn more about the talented Mr. Charles, go to www.etiennecharles.com.
Ms. Figarova has issued 12 CDs as a leader with a new one coming at the end of the summer. She's bringing her rhythm section of Jason Brown (drums) and Jeroen Vierdag (bass) - if he can't make the date, Hartford native Luques Curtis often takes his place. Besides Mr. Platteau, the front line often includes saxophonist Mark Mommaas and trumpeter Ernie Hammes. Her music has its roots in the Blue Note sounds of the 1960s but also has quite a lyrical side. She has a lovely touch on the keyboard and writes smart arrangements for the reeds and brass. To find out more, go to www.aminafigarova.com.
The Sextet starts playing at 8:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.aminafigarova.com.
Here's the title track of her latest CD, "Twelve":
Nick Sanders Trio - Mr. Sanders (piano, organ), Henry Frazer (bass) and Connor Baker (drums). Joining the alto saxophonist on the front line is Sam Decker (tenor saxophone), Andrew McGovern (trumpet) and Michael Sachs (clarinets). Strosahl freely admits one of his major influences is British composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695) and the listener can hear that influence on pieces such as "The Leaves Be Green", "M.M: Ground" and "DK's Jungle Jewel" - hear it in the intertwining melody lines and the harmonies but also pay attention to how the composer "plays" with the material. The "...Jungle Jewel" moves in and out of a formal setting; while several instruments play the melody, others move away from the center (listen for the "laughing" alto saxophone). The following track, "DK's Jungle Nights", also has a formal melody but the harmonies have moved into the 20th Century. The title track features sprightly brush work from Baker, an agile bass solo, and a rollicking bebop melody line. The alto sax rises out of the rhythm section with a raspy edge. The contrapuntal reeds and brass frame the solo before falling into and out of a pleasing "riffing" section. With a bow towards "free" improv and a touch of Charles Ives-like dissonance, the piece romps then glides towards the finish line.
The closing track is the only non-original and it's the chestnut "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes." The rhythm section and the leader takes turns playing it straight and going off on madcap tangents (the other horns st this one out). The piano solo is low-key but, when the alto sax returns, the 4 musicians take it out with gusto.
"Up Go We" is not very long but is packed with delightful music, intelligent arrangements and excellent material. Logan Strosahl has organized an impressive Team and created a most auspicious debut, one that leaves the listener wanting more.
To find out more about the saxophonist/composer/arranger, go to loganstrosahl.com.
Here's a track for your listening pleasure: