William Carn Quintet: Lessons Learned (2008)
On Lessons Learned, according to the liner notes, Canadian trombonist William Carn gives us an update on his life in the two years since his last recording, Other Stories (Self Produced, 2006). Good and bad, and ups and downs are detailed in nine original compositions, all interesting, sometimes provocative.
Giving him great help on this look-back is Kelly Jefferson on tenor and soprano sax, blending beautifully with Carn's full trombone sound. They are ably backed by David Braid on piano and Wurlitzer, Kieran Overs on bass, and Anthony Michelli on drums. Stellar musicians all, they are given ample solo time in this fine example of straight-ahead jazz with a modern bent.
Most tunes obviously recall aspects of his life. On "Business, dealings get a little hectic, as illustrated by Jefferson's hyper tenor, entering turbulent atmosphere. He is effectively complemented by Braid's frayed piano. Calming the situation, "No Problem" follows in a relaxed mood, with Michelli's catchy bolero rhythm punctuated by Braid, leading into Carn and Jefferson's sweeping solos. Overs' cool bass adds to the atmosphere.
Occasional surprises interrupt one's daily routine on "When You Least Expect It, beginning with Braid's placid piano preceding Carn's mellow trombone, suggesting reconciliation with life's vagaries.
"Go Figure offers another fine example of the Carn and Jefferson's fused trombone/soprano sax sound, setting the stage for Braid's lyrical interlude. Overs' pulsating bass aptly comes in at the end.
The collection's stunner is Dirka, inviting us in with its jaunty beginning and then showing off Braid's uniquely dissonant, growling Wurlitzer effects. The number ends in pleasant cacophony.
A side notethe Ontario, Canada, Arts Council supported this recording which, Carn points out, is a vital resource for Canadian artists. Would that our government gave more support to talented jazz musicians.
Track Listing: Out of Necessity; Business; No Problem; Dirka; When You Least Expect It; Go Figure; With You; The Good Docter; In Her Smile.
Personnel: William Carn: trombone; Kelly Jefferson: tenor and soprano saxes; David Braid: piano and Wurlitzer; Kieran Overs: bass; Anthony Michelli: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced