Saco Yasuma: Another Rain (2007)
On this disc Yasuma plays both bamboo and alto sax with a group of musicians well-qualified to interpret these compositions' deep spirituality: Roy Campbell Jr. (trumpet, flugelhorn), Andrew Bemkey (piano, bass clarinet), Ken Filiano (bass) and Michael TA Thompson (drums). Yasuma's alto is throaty and she voices well with Campbell's trumpet over what at times is a surprisingly funky rhythm section. These compositions are substantial pieces that are heavy on melody but not short on freedom either. They can be decidedly urban or frankly exotic, the former driven by the rhythm section's groove and the latter by Yasuma's bamboo sax and intriguing voicings.
"A Wind Blew into My Hands gusts from her horn as a complete solo improv while "Fat Orange Moon, with poet Golda Solomon, recalls when word-jazz was hip. The title cut is a quite beautiful stylistic mix that mirrors the session as it alternately soothes and excites with soul, funk, blues and earthy autonomy.
Track Listing: Invisible Matters; Liquid Entity; Fat Orange Moon; The Fifth Season; Calm Water; Labyrinth; Straight Upwards; A Wind Blew Into My Hands; Another Rain.
Personnel: Saco Yasuma: alto sax, xaphoon (bamboo saxophone); Roy Campbell jr.: trumpet, flugelhorn; Andrew Bemkey: piano, bass clarinet; Ken Filiano: bass; Michael T. A. Thompson: soundrhythium percussion; Golda Solomon: vocals (3).
Record Label: Leaf Note Productions
Style: Modern Jazz