For more information, go to www.nickfinzermusic.com.
Here's the opening track:
|photo by Angela Sowon Vayenas|
Vayenas switches to trumpet for "Premonition", sharing the melody with the tenor sax. The piano chords, at times, suggest McCoy Tyner but, like the opening track, there is a gentleness to the proceedings. The leader's tone on trumpet is clear, his notes crisp, and his attack adds intensity to the track. The influence of Herbie Hancock is evident on "The Final Frontier"; again, the trumpet takes the lead and Vayenas's bluesy solo spurs the rhythm section to react with stops-and-starts as well as keeping the flow moving.
"Flow Motion" is an album to get lost in. The program never forces its way into your brain yet invites you to relax, settle down - even the funky "Red Stripe" has a good natured gentility. The music Nick Vayenas and crew creates on the album is truly for early morning reveries and late-night meditations.
For more information, go to www.nickvayenas.com.
Here's the title tune:
"Tight Rope", a funky, hard-edged, tune opens "Presence" (See Tao Recordings), the fourth recording from trombonist and composer John Yao. The Chicago native has worked in numerous ensembles including the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Brooklyn Big Band, and the Jeff Fairbanks Orchestra. His previous album, ""Flip-Flop", was created for his 17-piece Instrument but the new recording is with his Quintet, a return to the smaller-group ensemble of his 2012 Innova recording.
This group includes Jon Irabagon (soprano and sopranino saxes), Randy Ingram (piano, Fender Rhodes), Peter Brendler (bass), and Shawn Baltazor (drums); the music Yao gives to them play to their strengths. Irabagon, whose noted for his tenor work, is limited to the higher range reeds here yet it's a smart juxtaposition to the trombone. Plus, he has developed into such a fine player. Listen to the elegiac "M. Howard" (the album is dedicated to the memory of one of the leader's best friends and how the soprano melody lifts up as it sings. The lovely, melodic bass solo (Brendler is one of the most sensitive players on the scene) leads into an intense piano solo that also rises, this time over the rhythm section and the horns. Yao then steps out, the intensity picks up even more, and one hears his sorrow transformed into (musical) action.
For more information, go to www.johnyao.com.