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.

Album information

Title: Bright Road | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Effendi Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Tomato Brain
Tomato Brain
The Golden Age Of Steam
Read The Clawed Stone
The Clawed Stone
John Butcher / Thomas Lehn / Matthew Shipp
Read some kind of peace
some kind of peace
Olafur Arnalds
Read Lost Ships
Lost Ships
Elina Duni / Rob Luft

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.