With his second date as a leader, multi-woodwind artist Remy LeBouef performs these largely self-penned comps with an orchestra, featuring notable musicians Anna Webber (woodwinds), Alex Goodman (guitar) and other jazz VIPs. Here, the leader's composing acuity brims with multicolored hues and harmonious arrangements, largely executed with a composite of modern jazz and classical inferences via gradual buildups, brash outbreaks and complex unison choruses that occasionally mimic single note bop lines. Sure enough, this young visionary's unflagging creative spirit tenders a rewarding listening experience, especially on the commissioned five-part "Assembly of Shadows Suite."
Webber's gorgeous and somber flute work helps launch Part I, coupled with Martha Kato's expressive piano etude, layered by the translucent horns and timbral overlays that hit the sweet spot. They extend the thematic front with coalescing movements and impacting choruses that generate semblances of a film soundtrack, spanning several emotive aspects. Throughout, the pristine audio clarity abets Le Boeuf's sweeping arrangements. Whereas, the soloists have plenty of room to construct meaningful solos that loosely restate or reinvent a given motif or melody line. Indeed, the suite evolves with cavernous descents, and sprightly ascensions toward a summit, as the band closes Part V with Webber and Kato's fragile dreamscapes. Hence, Le Boeuf extends his reach during this magnetic presentation, tinted with soothing storylines, contrasted with amped up soloing activities and engaging plot developments.
Strata; Honeymooners; Assembly of Shadows Suite: I. Introduction; II. Assembly of Shadows; III. Shapeless Dancer; IV. Transfiguration; V. Light Through the Leaves.
Gregory Robbins: conductor; Remy Le Boeuf: soprano sax, flute, alto flute; Vito Chiavuzzo: alto sax; John Lowery: clarinet; Carl Maraghi: bass clarinet; Nick Depinna: additional overdubs.