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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sketches: Volume 2

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Same musicians, same winning concept, great new songs: that's what awaits on the second volume of music from the quintet collective known as Sketches. This Brooklyn-based outfit works a unique angle with its own brand of cross-pollinated composition, whereby one musician brings in a tidbit of music that serves as the seed for a piece from the pen of another band member. It's a form of collaborative writing that allows both parties to work alone together. To some, the band and its concept may smack of gimmickry, but those thoughts belong with the pure ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sketches: Volume One

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Compositional specificity can be a blessing and a curse. It's easy to understand how having every last instruction set to paper can be helpful when it comes to starting the music making process, but the flip side of that argument is that there's nothing left to actually create if everything is already there in black and white on the page. Jazz, as a form of creative music, has always wrestled to find a balance between structure and freedom, and it often ends up falling into one of several categories: free and potentially formless music that pays no ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sketches: Volume One

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This Brooklyn-based jazz quintet comprised of nascent talent takes a unique approach to composition. Here, the musicians share a sketch from a notepad, denoting an incomplete composition or musical fragment and another band-member runs with it to use as a foundation for a new composition. Nonetheless, it's a balanced program, where the musicians fuse probing melodic content via regimented flows and loose grooves, while occasionally skirting the outside realm. Essentially, these pieces are structured by design, yet the band doesn't constrict itself. They use space as an additional instrument, but turn up the heat during various movements. “Dusk ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Hedberg and Sketches in Blue: Come and Meet Me in a Dream

The spirit of Chet Baker is alive and well in the performance of Chicagoland trumpeter and vocalist Jeff Hedberg. On his CD, Come And Meet Me In A Dream, Hedberg demonstrates a similar essence in his light tenor voice and rather spare approach in trumpet improvisation that are very reminiscent of the almost fragile effluence of the late great Chet Baker. Hedberg and his band, Sketches in Blue, wind their way through 11 tunes listed on the CD cover and one segment of scatting at the end that is either a coda to the tune “Goodbye” or is just something ...



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