The premise for this album is based on a succinct Emily Dickenson poem, As Subtle as Tomorrow with the verse allocated to the individual track titles. Subtle is an adjective that parallels the trio's chief mode of operations. The band's muse is nestled somewhere within an existential progressive jazz format, layered with ambient-electronic treatments and hearty doses of improv. They also interlace minimalist sojourns, partly due to pianist's Sam Harris' harmonically driven ostinato phrasings. Thus, appealing melodies often serve as a recurring dynamic along with themes that seemingly spring out of nothingness, abetted by Bret Sroka's moody trombone lines and Shawn Baltazor's perceptive drumming techniques.
The trio's byzantine approach to composition is quietly penetrating via steady buildups and free rein type bridge movements, saturated with intriguing dialogues and ethereal background effects. "As subtle" is executed with a fragile motif and eerie backdrops, summoning lucid imagery of being frozen in time. However, "That never came" casts an up-tempo vista, concocted with an asymmetrical pulse and Harris' circular patterns, laying the foundation for bizarre electronics permutations. Here, Sroka uses a mute which is a facet that underscores his wistful phrasings, subsequently peppered by Harris' climactic notes.
The final piece "a name," features blossoming choruses, dappled by the drummer's toms and cymbals shadings, and etched by the pianist's trance-like clusters and a looping hook, topped off by Sroka's intricately devised improvisational maneuvers. Yet the band closes out with a crashing opus. Indeed, the artists use depth and space as an accelerator and craft a singular group-centric sound amid a stylization that crosses copious musical frontiers.
Track Listing: as tomorrow; A warrant; As subtle; That never came; a conviction; Yet but; a
Personnel: Brett Sroka: trombone, computer; Sam Harris: piano, prepared-piano, Rhodes
electric piano; Shawn Baltazor: drums.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.