The double quartet that trombonist Ryan Keberle brings to the studio for this debut recording shares a true appreciation for superb tone and a freewheeling sense of rhythm. With arrangements that parallel those of a quality big band, the ensemble combines an acoustic, trombone-led jazz quartet along with a top-notch brass quartet for a notable experience.
Keberle's double quartet sizzles from start to finish, his five original compositions bringing a fresh opinion to the forum while two recent jazz classics and two familiar Beatles tunes lend a new twist to pleasant memories. With experience that includes touring with the jazz orchestras of Maria Schneider and Lincoln Center, plus two recent advanced degrees in music from Manhattan School and Juilliard, Keberle has amassed a résumé of which he can be proud. In 2004, he began his tenure as a visiting professor at City University's Hunter College.
The leader's trombone gives this double quartet a hefty thrill. As a strong player who recalls the vibrancy of JJ Johnson, the originality of Wycliffe Gordon and the pure tone of Frank Rosolino, Keberle stands tall through each segment of the program. He interacts with both quartets intuitively, both as a collective and as two separate entities. With his jazz quartet, Keberle moves effortlessly through eloquent phrases that stand out for their solid beauty. His "When I'm Away, a somber ballad, proves especially unique. Against the brass quartet, Keberle works as a pure, crystalline solution that combines the classical repertoire with a cool jazz spirit. Brad Mehldau's "29 Palms, for example, puts everybody to work in a Kind of Blue situation that honors the memory. "Norwegian Wood, a personal favorite, lets the octet flourish through an exciting rhythmic episode, while putting every note in place with immaculate perception. It's an outstanding debut from a hot, new voice on the jazz scene.
Something Speaking; What Goes Around; Blackbird; Children of the Night; When I
Ryan Keberle: trombone; Adam Birnbaum: piano; Matt Brewer: bass; Brad Wentworth: drums; Michael Rodriguez: trumpet; Chris Komer: French horn; Marshall Gilkes: trombone; Jose Davila: tuba.
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