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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Natalie Cressman: Turn The Sea

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Trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman follows-up her excellent debut recording, Unfolding (Self Produced, 2012) with her fully realized yet completely different Turn the Sea. Cressman is a busy artist recently appearing on many projects as disparate as anchoring the horn section of Trey Anastasio's band and appearing on recording dates led by Peter Apfelbaum and Josh Roseman to her conspicuous role on Laura Furci's excellent Think Con La Tua Cabeza (2013) Cressman brings these multiple exposures to bare on Turn the Sea. This is a collection of angular compositions that are as intricate as they are accessible. The title ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Natalie Cressman & Secret Garden: Unfolding

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Imagine what it would be like to grow up in a household in which both parents are exceptional jazz musicians, a childhood completely immersed in live music and performance. Natalie Cressman, daughter of vocalist Sandy Cressman and trombonist Jeff Cressman, has had just such an upbringing, and her debut album Unfolding indicates that she is making the most of it. Still in her early 20s, and a student at the Manhattan School of Music with a couple of years' worth of touring with Trey Anastasio under her belt, Natalie became a fixture in the Bay Area scene by her mid-teens, ...

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Natalie Cressman and Secret Garden: New York, September 6, 2012

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Natalie Cressman and Secret GardenDROMNew York, NYSeptember 6th, 2012The trombone is not an instrument that tolerates mediocrity. Because of the instrument's many idiosyncrasies, there's no real chance for the slide instrumentalist to get caught in the purgatory of empty virtuosity often exhibited by up-and-coming guitarists and saxophonists. The practitioners who persevere to make their own sound, like the 20-year-old trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman, tend to go right from being decent musicians to being excellent ones. Cressman, who honed her skills both in college at the Manhattan School of Music and on the road with jam impresario ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Natalie Cressman and Secret Garden: Unfolding

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Looking for antecedents for trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman? All About Jazz's C. Michael Bailey correctly points us to Jack Teagarden, the original singing trombonist. And, in fact, Cressman finds plenty of opportunity in the funkier passages of Unfolding, her debut album, to deploy a fluid and full Teagarden-like sound on the instrument.But Cressman--twenty years old and a student at the Manhattan School of Music at the time of Unfolding's release--also suggests a more contemporary reference: Esperanza Spalding, the superstar singing bassist. As with much of Spalding's vocals on her first record--the fine Junjo (Ayva Musica, 2006)--Cressman's wordless and vaguely ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Natalie Cressman and Secret Garden: Unfolding

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If John the Baptist was supposed to be the reincarnation of the prophet Elijah, then Natalie Cressman is certainly the same for Jack Teagarden. Both sing and play trombone, and that is all that's required for a spiritual connection. Cressman's debut, Unfolding, sports a crazy “Honeysuckle Rose" and a slew of fine originals. Equally capable as a vocalist and trombonist, Cressman--best-known these days as a member of Phish's touring band brass section--is also quite the decent arranger, favoring brass choral introductions not unlike fellow vocalist/trombonist Henry Darragh. Cressman is fearless in her conquering of bassist Charles Mingus' ...



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