Deidre Rodman: Sun Is Us
For her maiden album pianist/composer Deidre Rodman and her regular quintet successfully leads the listener through a maze of sounds built on compositions and arrangements designed to express assorted sensory emotions among them, excitement, contemplation and introspection. Modern avant-garde ideas find their way to fulfillment through the inventive use of instruments played against and with each other during this performance which seems to end too quickly. There's eye raising juxtaposition of rhythm and pitch on such tracks as "Nuggets". On this cut, Rodman's piano plays interlocutor to Loren Stillman's alto and Russ Johnson's trumpet with the ensemble coming in and out assuming the function similar to that assigned to the chorus in a Greek tragedy. "There Was a Time" has a Spanish flavor about it bringing to mind images of a bull fight in slow motion. The arrangement gives the impression that the group is much larger than it is, a technique honed many years ago by the John Kirby Sextet. Employing one of the most common musical devices, repetition, "Roadlonely", finds Rodman's piano swirling around a continuing chord played by the ensemble before Johnson steps up with musical notions of his own, as Rodman relegates her piano to a position below the melody line. For the sake of balance, there's a lovely blues inflected Inside White which has some funky overtones. This album works because there's a musical objective which lets the listener stay in the game. While dissonance and jagged rhythms re here, the music does not fall into the abyss of aimless meandering. The importance of melody is well understood by the group. Rodman has a case for a place in the vanguard of progressive jazz pianists with this album.
Track Listing: Nuggets; Roadlonely; Earthcurrents; There Was a Time; B. Left; Inside White; Sun Is Down; Sun Is Us
Personnel: Deidre Rodman - Piano; Loren Stillman - Alto & Soprano Saxes; Tony Malaby - Tenor Sax; Russ Johnson - Trumpet; Bob Bowen - Bass; Ari Hoenig - Drums