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).

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Blujazz Productions | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "In Denmark 1959-1960" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark 1959-1960
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "El Changüí Majadero" CD/LP/Track Review El Changüí Majadero
by James Nadal
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Live North America 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Live North America 2016
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!