TransAtlantic Collective: Traveling Song (2009)
Traveling Song includes one standard, Cole Porter's "It's All Right with Me." The song starts strongly with Randalu's piano, and although Cornelius' saxophone playing is rather restrained there is enough originality in the arrangement to justify its inclusion. The remaining eight tracks display the group's compositional strength, with every member except Randalu contributing at least one tune.
Drummer Wiltgen's first contribution, "Danse Triste," is a beautiful, slow and haunting number that begins with some fine soprano sax, underpinned by Randalu's piano. Cornelius' "Minor Steps" and "New Blues" give the entire quintet the chance to stretch out, and feature some fine up-tempo work from Janisch and Witgen. Collins' "Tu Mas" spotlights some beautiful interplay between the composer and Cornelius before the trumpeter steps in with a lyrical solo over a tight rhythm section. It's noticeable that each band member's compositions are not simply used as showcase pieces for their writers, they are written to maximize the Collective's individual skills and talents, ensuring that each instrument adds to the effectiveness of the tune rather than being played simply for the sake of it.
There is always a danger that collections of old friends can exclude outsiders, deliberate or not. In a jazz context this can mean that the friends play to please themselves with little apparent interest in pleasing others. The TransAtlantic Collective sounds like the musicians are pleasing themselves, but with no sense that those outside the group are being ignored. Traveling Song is an involving and refreshing piece of work.
Track Listing: Turns Out; It's All Right with Me; Danse Triste; Minor Steps; Traveling Song; Tu Mas; Precisely Now; Brother Gabriel; New Blues.
Personnel: Patrick Cornelius: saxophones; Quentin Collins: trumpet; Kristjan Randalu: piano; Michael Janisch: bass; Paul Wiltgen: drums.
Record Label: Woodville Records