The "EP" tag sitting on the title of trumpeter Jon Crowley's The Rehumanization EP is an obvious abbreviation for "Extended Play." Given an extended listening, it might be more apt to be interpreted as "exceptionally pleasing" or "exceptional performance." Both descriptions precisely fit this, Crowley's third release as leader. And, it is just as terrific as its two predecessors.
With The Rehumanization EP Crowley, originally from the fecund musical womb of Philadelphiaand now a Brooklyn residentcontinues to offer intriguingly explored tonalities and textures. The four selections on this somewhat shorter in duration recording are all superb Crowley originals. Each is a somewhat slower selection more melismatic in nature than balladic. The melodies of each tune eschew faster tempo and notation, allowing Crowley and crew to expand on lengthy ribbon-like solo forays. In an appealing way, the four selections seem to echo one another emotionally, with each commencing at an almost drone state and developing, highly energized into a finale of sorts. This is music of deep thinking and emotion, yet it is sonorous and easily grasped.
What works so well hereand there are quite a few elements to that pointis Crowley's playing. This is a thoughtful, emotionally penetrating player. His near vibrato-less tone is robust, yet somewhat vulnerable. Wisely, he's a trumpeting minimalist as opposed to a technical braggadociosomething unfortunately more common today. Think the emotional quotient of Chet Baker with a more focused, inviting resonancethat's Mr. Crowley. His improvisational lines spew effortlessly from the melodies he created and they extend out with each fragment generating another unique idea.
Alto saxophonist John Beaty joins Crowley in a frontline that is superbly more ensemble driven than one that stands out selfishly at the expense of the rhythm sectionwhich is superb in its abilities to support the slower and energy-developing formats.
While the Free Spirits, Smooth Jazzers, Giant Steppers and Beboppers each have their players and proponents, Jon Crowley, with his horn and pen almost has created a totally unique format with this recording and his prior efforts. It is a most enjoyableand especially humanchange of pace.
Track Listing: Without You; I'll Be Fine Without You; And We Talked All Night, It's Hard to Try.
Personnel: Jon Crowley: trumpet; John Beaty: alto saxophone; Noah Berman: electric and acoustic guitars, effects; Brad Whitely: piano, organ, effects; Ben Thomas: bass; Max Maples: drums.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.