309

Min Rager: Bright Road

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Min Rager: Bright Road Blessed with the gift of melody, Min Rager has created an album of original compositions full of smiles, hope, laughter, and just plain great listening. The Korean native is now completing her master's degree at McGill University in Canada; Bright Road is her debut on record. The sound created by the quintet is huge, which can only be explained by the sharp arranging of the trumpet and alto sax, and how Rager herself comps and solos on piano behind them.

"Devil Heart" sets the tone right from the start as the band plays syncopated chords in unison, leading to a driving vamp played by the bass and piano left hand. Unison trumpet and sax play the theme, which, when combined with Rager's piano, produces a sound that just envelopes the listener with a slightly Latin beat in the bass that meshes with the steady hi-hat on beats two and four.

This is jazz from the mainstream that is anything but flabby or shallow. What you hear is what you get, but the music is so uplifting, so right there it inspires and refreshes. There is no listener fatigue, despite the fact that the music is so "up." Look not here for quirkiness or "out" playing, but rather for music making that soothes the soul while simultaneously engaging the mind in many different ways.

Kevin Dean (trumpet) and Donny Kennedy (alto sax) both play extremely well, and are give rock solid support by Kieran Overs (bass) and Andre White (drums). The tunes and their arrangements, however, make this much easier since they are so extroverted and the balance and the connections between the arranged and the improvised are so smooth. Behind it all is Rager, full of energy and employing accompaniment that continually fills the middle space, producing a wall of sound. Stylistically opposite is "Trailing," which is arranged as a duet for trumpet and piano and features another gorgeous melody that just flows with inevitability as Dean, totally exposed, plays what is arguably his best lines.

Canada is producing some very fine pianist/composers, including Brad Turner (Question The Answer) and David Braid (Vivid). Add Min Rager to that list; she's also someone to watch and wait for in the future. Indeed, Bright Road shares some of the vibe of Vivid, and it's highly recommended to anyone who loves music that uplifts the spirit.


Track Listing: Devil Heart; Sourire Dans La Pluie; Bright Road; Trailing; Violet; Recollection; The Great Bear; Romanticism.

Personnel: Min Rager: piano; Kevin Dean: trumpet; Donny Kennedy: alto saxophone; Kieran Overs: acoustic bass; Andre White: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Effendi Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Songs From Afar" CD/LP/Track Review Songs From Afar
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 11, 2016
Read "Avant Funk" CD/LP/Track Review Avant Funk
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke" CD/LP/Track Review A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "Unfolding In Tempo" CD/LP/Track Review Unfolding In Tempo
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Furiously Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review Furiously Dreaming
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!

Buy it!