143

Tyler Blanton: Botanic

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Tyler Blanton: Botanic Vibraphonist and composer Tyler Blanton's debut, Botanic, introduces the young musician as a lyrical and compelling player and composer. Blanton refers to himself as grounded in bebop and straight-ahead, but open to other approaches, a description that matches this eclectic collection of tunes.

When Blanton solos his qualities as a player are clear, helped by the excellent production quality on the album, recorded at Brooklyn's Systems Two Studio. His playing style is melodic, bright and emotionally upbeat, matched by his compositional approach, which similarly favors melody, swing and optimism.

Blanton's unaccompanied opening to "Already Here" suggests the strong influence of the Modern Jazz Quartet and its vibraphonist, Milt Jackson. There is a classical feel to the tune, and Blanton's playing is lyrical, if a little restrained. However, when bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Jared Schonig enter to kick the tune up a gear it becomes more up-tempo and swinging. The album's other trio performance is "Little Two," a beautifully played piece, but one that feels more like an extended solo than a distinct tune.

Saxophonist Joel Frahm adds contrast and color to the rest of the tunes, his soft-toned playing on both tenor and soprano an effective counterpoint to Blanton's brighter-sounding vibes. His soprano work on the boppy "Good Ol' Joel" is breezily good-natured and warm, his tenor on "Foreshadowing" more reflective and thoughtful. In both cases, he captures the mood of the piece with precision and inventiveness.

Blanton opens and closes "Mellow Afternoon" alone, his instrument ringing out with a beautifully crystalline sound, and the vibraphonist demonstrating the confidence and control to leave plenty of space in his playing, reflecting the mellowness of the title. The rhythm section for "Mellow Afternoon" is bassist Aidan Carroll and drummer Richie Barshay, both musicians playing in a soft, floating style that is crucial to the tune's atmosphere.

Botanic is a fine and, at times, inspired debut from Blanton. Engaging and optimistic tunes, and warm, lyrical performances, are surefire ingredients for success: Botanic has them both.

Track Listing: Already Here; Botanic; Good Ol' Joel; Foreshadowing; Mellow Afternoon; Little Two; Hemming and Hawing; Vestibule.

Personnel: Tyler Blanton: vibraphone; Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Dan Loomis: bass; Jared Schonig: drums; Aidan Carroll: bass (5, 8); Richie Barshay: drums (5, 8).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Beyond Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is The Uplifting Part CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Glare of the Tiger CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana CD/LP/Track Review Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 22, 2017
Read From Two Balconies CD/LP/Track Review From Two Balconies
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Double Septet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Septet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Altadena" CD/LP/Track Review Altadena
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Things Are Looking Up" CD/LP/Track Review Things Are Looking Up
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!