195

Jon Crowley Quintet: Connections

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Jon Crowley Quintet: Connections On the evidence of its debut, Connections, the New York-based Jon Crowley Quintet has huge potential. The ten tracks, all composed by leader and trumpeter Crowley, are immediately accessible but have sufficient depth and complexity to reward repeated listening. The band's technical ability is uniformly strong, but technique never takes precedence over an emotional connection with the music—the result is a mature and thoughtful album that belies the youth and relative inexperience of the musicians.

Although Crowley is the group's leader and composer, as well as the album's producer, he by no means overwhelms the other players. Indeed, he doesn't take a solo on the opening tune, the post-bop style "Connections," giving the album's first solo spot to alto saxophonist John Beaty and the second to pianist Yayoi Ikawa. Crowley's first solo appears on the beautiful "Momentum," which opens with Crowley and Beaty playing contrasting but complementary melodies, before Crowley takes the spotlight with a warm and lyrical performance.

"Bass Intro," as the title suggests, is a brief track consisting of a bass solo from Peter Schwebs which moves seamlessly into "Tabula Rasa," on which Crowley's solo and Nick Anderson's drums in particular suggest Middle Eastern influences. By contrast, "Vista" is a brighter, more upbeat tune that opens strongly with a funky, Horace Silver-ish melody. Beaty and Crowley then trade phrases—for slightly too long—before Ikawa's bright and delicate piano solo. The most up-tempo tune on the CD, "Right Now," has the drive and immediacy suggested by its title and features a tight, precise solo from Beaty. This suddenly cuts to Anderson's inventive drum solo before the ensemble returns for the tune's closing bars.

Sound quality on the album is outstanding—there is a brightness to the recording that enables all of the instruments to be heard clearly and distinctly. In fact, from the packaging to the mastering this is an impressive debut. Crowley's strong compositions coupled with the musical talents of all five band members make Connections a first album to be proud of.

Track Listing: Connections; Momentum; Bass Intro; Tabula Rasa; Vista; Ambrosia; Icarus; Right Now; City Mood; Decision.

Personnel: Jon Crowley: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Beaty: alto saxophone; Yayoi Ikawa: piano; Peter Schwebs: bass; Nick Anderson: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Read more articles

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Les Rhincéros III" CD/LP/Track Review Les Rhincéros III
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Gratitude" CD/LP/Track Review Gratitude
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by John Sharpe
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Where the Blue Begins" CD/LP/Track Review Where the Blue Begins
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!