205

Jon Crowley Quintet: Connections

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
In what might be the most perfectly titled CD of recent memory, Connections is a fine effort by talented trumpeter/ composer Jon Crowley and his exciting group. While Crowley might not be a household name just yet, this release announces, anoints and validates him as a fine jazz performer, writer and leader.

What Crowley writes and plays connects solidly throughout with ten selections that seem to resonate with each other somewhat texturally, if not intellectually. There's a sort of Moebius-like feel that connects each tune; however, each is highly original and stands on its own. Vaguely reminiscent of the classic tunes from the small group jazz canon, Connections reflects the past yet peeks into Crowley's own talented future.

Backed here by a set of great musicians, it is obvious that this group is a tight unit. Outstanding alto saxophonist John Beaty seems to be the perfect musical foil for Crowley's solo efforts with an intelligent and surprisingly inventive style with great energy on "Right Now." The rhythm section of bassist Peter Schwebs and drummer Nick Anderson, along with keyboardist Yayoi Ikawa, are marvelous as they provide the perfect platform for the frontline. Their harmonic and rhythmic subtleties shine with repeated listens.

The compositions range from the rhythmically complex ("Connections," "Tabula Rasa," and "Vista") to haunting, beautifully balladry ("Momentum," "Ambrosia," and "Icarus") and white-hot straight-ahead ("Right Now").

As a trumpeter, Crowley exhibits maturity and a marvelously warm sound. His approach to the instrument is solid, controlled, and highly lyrical. While there are the usual—and easily recognizable—"suspects" lurking within (shades of Tom Harrell, John Swana, Freddie Hubbard), Crowley piques interest with a creative approach. This is one smart trumpeter and composer: he knows where his roots are and how to develop a unique style nourished and energized by and connected to those roots.

Connections is an enjoyable effort by a terrific young talent and his crew. It indeed connects on many levels— all of them superbly.

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.

Title: Connections | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "One Minute Later" CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show" CD/LP/Track Review Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Two Calls" CD/LP/Track Review Two Calls
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Manovuotometro" CD/LP/Track Review Manovuotometro
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 24, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.