Quebec-based composer-saxophonist Sebastian Bailey is primarily focused on chamber jazz on his latest EP, and his innovative ear guides each track. Ensemble de Magnac summarizes Bailey's creative vision quite well, especially his ability to create a diverse and engaging soundscape.
The music on this release has a classic sound and the production aesthetics are solid, highlighting the natural chemistry between these talented musicians. The record's spotlight on chamber jazz allows the line-up to create a thick sonic fabric which feels smooth and classy, but also lively and spontaneous. The EP kicks off with the stunning "Intuition." The track also features vocalist Sarah Rossy, who brings a special touch to this tune with her talent and verve. The second cut, "Lady Justice," is yet another show of Bailey's smooth sax lines and versatility. The next track on this release sets the bar even higher. The mesmerizing "Psalm 23/Chorale IV" features Bailey's late father V.J.R. Bailey reciting from the Bible not long before his passing. (The album is dedicated to his memory). Last, but definitely not least, the closing song on this effort, "Rocking Chair in 3 Sittings," is perhaps one of the most traditional-leaning tracks, encapsulating the pillars of the chamber jazz genre.
Ultimately, this EP is an inspired achievement, and it is highly recommended to those who appreciate authentic, uncompromising jazz. One of the key factors of this release is definitely its stylistic diversity. This is forward-thinking music with a substantial amount of intensity, and one really can't go wrong in terms of passion and commitment to creating something pure and beautiful. There might be only four songs on this EP, but what makes it special is that it serves as a spellbinding introduction to Bailey's skills on the sax, as well as his ability to understand the value of ensemble work. A band or group is only as good as its weakest link, and this record really shows no signs of weakness, going for a very bright and lush feel.
Intuition (feat. Sarah Rossy); Lady Justice; Psalm 23 / Chorale IV (feat. V.J.R. Bailey); Rocking Chair in 3 Sittings.
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