6

T.K. Blue: A Warm Embrace

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
T.K. Blue: A Warm Embrace Saxophonist and flutist T.K Blue's tenth album A Warm Embrace is an enchanting and elegant work with richly textured harmonies and captivating melodies. Even though not all of the tracks are strictly speaking ballads there is a sublime sense of poetry that runs throughout the record and is its prevailing and cohesive motif.

The solemn "Requiem for a Loved I" dedicated to several deceased musicians is intensely, yet quietly, lyrical and somber. It opens with a pensive and melancholic dialogue between Blue's yearning, clean saxophone and guitarist Russell Malone's earthy tones. Blue's haunting improvisation builds an aura of nostalgia with Malone's slow simmering strings glow a deep cerulean. Pianist James Weidman adds to that blues drenched ambience with his thick, contemplative chords.

Another memorable original, "Once Loved" features Blue's soaring, flittering flute over Quarttete Indigo Strings' lush and hypnotic sonic tapestry. Blue engages in a subtly dramatic conversation with the Quartette (augmented by bassist Paul Beudry) with hints of classicism that eschews overt theatricality.

Even the up-tempo tunes are deeply melodic. Pianist Randy Weston's swinging "Portrait of Patsy J" maintains a boppish effervescence as Weidman lays down bright yet intricately woven spontaneous phrases. Blue's own embellishments of the theme are quite expressive all the while remaining accessible. Drummer Winard Harper closes the piece gracefully with an energetic and inventive solo.

The undulating "Goodbye Is Not 4-Ever" opens with Blue's flute's circular dance. Guitarist Ron Jackson brings a touch of intrigue with his delightfully complex and intelligent soliloquy. Blue's lilting, upbeat extemporization is refreshingly clever and elaborate without being abstruse. Bassist Essiet Essiet's soulful reverberations usher in the concluding return to the head.

One of the pleasant surprises is the guest appearance of vocalist Alana Adderley. The grandniece of saxophone giant Julian "Canonball" Adderley the charming singer brings an ebullient Latin flavor to the standard with the help of percussionist Ronaldo Guererro. Her evocative articulation and agile voice glide smoothly over the rhythm section's rollicking beats and Weidman's cascading notes.

A Warm Embrace is a sophisticated and passionate disc that is exquisitely beautiful without being overdone. Although it does not break new ground, there is a vibrant sincerity and a serene wisdom that imbue the music in its entirety and make it an alluring and attractive slice of mainstream jazz.

Track Listing: A Warm Embrace; Tides Of Romance; Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar; Never Felt This Way (For Antoine And Monique); Requiem For A Loved 1 (For Benny, Jayne, Ted, Earl, Mulgrew, Shirley, Hotep, Zim, And Sathima); The Essence Of U; Once Loved; Portrait Of Patsy J; Dance Of Passion; A Quiet Place; Goodbye Is Not 4-Ever; When Sunny Gets Blue; Dance Of Love Never-Ending.

Personnel: T.K. Blue: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, alto flute; James Weidman: piano; Essiet Essiet: acoustic bass, electric bass; Winard Harper: drums; Ron Jackson: guitar; Russell Malone: guitar (2, 5); Roland Guerrero: percussion; Alana Adderley: vocals (12); Paul Beaudry: acoustic bass (7); The Quartette Indigo Strings: Akua Dixon: cello (7), Ina Paris: viola (7); Chala Yancy: violin (7); Patrisa Tomassini: violin (7).

Title: A Warm Embrace | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Blujazz Productions


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by James Nadal
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "TajMo" CD/LP/Track Review TajMo
by James Nadal
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "All L.A. Band" CD/LP/Track Review All L.A. Band
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "El Barranco" CD/LP/Track Review El Barranco
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 11, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.