All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

303

Anthony Branker & Ascent: Dance Music

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Dr. Anthony Branker holds an endowed jazz chair, and is currently director of the Program in Jazz Studies at Princeton University. A composer and musical director, Branker established the jazz collective, Anthony Branker & Ascent in 2004, featuring an A-list of players—among them, saxophonists Tia Fuller and Ralph Bowen fronting a light ensemble, with vocalist Kadri Voorand. Dance Music is the group's third album of all-original music, inspired by Branker's desire to infuse his compositions with an element of dance. Despite this intent, the only true dance numbers on the disc are the Latin jazz finale, "Depende," the funk-driven title track, and a couple of the soft vocal ballads, appropriate for a slow dance; the majority of the selections incorporate a more modern jazz approach, with very impressive results.

Four of the ten Branker originals are vocals pieces, with lyrics penned by Voorand, whose seductive voice is first heard on "Mysterious Ways," accompanied by Bowen on soprano. Pianist Jonny King and saxophonist Bowen combine for an inspiring performance on "A Smile Awaits" with bassist Kenny Davis throwing in a few firm bass lines towards the end. Fuller tees off on "The House of the Brotherhood of the Black Heads," leaving no question about whom this number belongs, though Bowen also contributes a few sharp solos.

Guitarist Freddie Bryant appears on "Truth," lending a few delicate chords to this rather relaxing, mid-tempo piece, in stark contrast to the session's closing spicy statement, the Latin "Depende," delivered by trombonist Clifford Adams, Jr. Branker may not perform, but shines through the quality of his compositions, as well as his direction of the group. While the type and level of dance and swing music contained on this recording is challengeable, there's no denying the obvious: Dance Music is unquestionably a strong outing of engaging modern jazz.

Track Listing: The Renewal; Mysterious Ways; Dance Music; A Smile Awaits; Asking Answers; The House of the Brotherhood of the Black Heads; The Holy Innocent; A Beautiful Life; Truth; Depende.

Personnel: Anthony Branker: musical director; Kadri Voorand: vocals (2, 5, 7, 8); Tia Fuller: alto saxophone; Ralph Bowen: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Clifford Adams, Jr.: trombone; Jonny King: piano; Kenny Davis: bass; Adam Cruz: drums; Freddie Bryant: guitar (9);

Title: Dance Music | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Unity

Unity

Anthony Branker
Together

Ancestral Tales

Ancestral Tales

Anthony Branker
Dialogic

Ascent

Ascent

Anthony Branker
Blessings

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Beauty Within

Beauty Within

Origin Records
2016

buy
The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite

The Forward (Towards...

Origin Records
2014

buy
Uppity

Uppity

Origin Records
2013

buy
Dance Music

Dance Music

Origin Records
2011

buy
Blessings

Blessings

Origin Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Garden(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Garden(s)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "City Of Light" CD/LP/Track Review City Of Light
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "Live In London" CD/LP/Track Review Live In London
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Out of Place" CD/LP/Track Review Out of Place
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim" CD/LP/Track Review Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim
by Kevin Press
Published: February 19, 2018