164

Ramona Borthwick: A New Leaf

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Ramona Borthwick makes quite an impression with her first international release. She and husband Noel Borthwick were active on the music scene in Mumbai (Bombay) during the '80s, before they moved to Ottawa and then to Boston. Given her training in Western classical music and the clear empathy she has for Indian classical music, it is not surprising that both are present and entwined with jazz on A New Leaf.

Mating genres and making them productive is not an easy accomplishment. Ramona Borthwick, however, brings this to fruition, whether by melding a rustic Indian rhythm with the Argentinean chacarera or voicing Indian classical konakkol (akin to jazz scatting) and slipping into jazz waters. The former appears on "Garbarero with Esperanza Spalding (vocal percussion) and Fernando Huergo (bass) in cleave. The rhythm jumps up and kicks when Ramona comes in singing a folk-tinged melody, the two voices interweaving in heady conversation. The base is supple, but trumpeter Phil Grenadier adds a different tack by providing tension and then releasing it in a jaunt. Then the tune goes into the mainstream with a nice swinging air when Noel Borthwick injects thick round notes on his guitar.

"Baarah Sur, which in the Hindi language means "Twelve Tones, swings along on Grenadier's trumpet, his line broken by interjections that add interesting signposts to his journey. Borthwick shows her sense for jazz harmony and imagination as she expounds on the rhythm and extends the melody. The shift of pulse and timbre craft a nice little niche for the tune. The pianist evokes and leisurely unravels an Indian melody on "Home. The air rustles on the cymbals of Ziv Ravitz, the accents adding to the atmosphere.

A new leaf it certainly is, and a fine debut, indeed!


Track Listing: A New Leaf; Garbarero; Two

Personnel: Ramona Borthwick: piano, voice; Fernando Huergo: bass; Ziv Ravitz: drums; Noel Borthwick: guitar; Phil Grenadier: trumpet; Esperanza Spalding: voice (2,9).

Title: A New Leaf | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Avenida Graham" CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Alom Mola" CD/LP/Track Review Alom Mola
by John Eyles
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "The Colours Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 29, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.