Who needs a drummer, anyway? Not Sarah Marie Young. It's a certainty that the Chicago-based vocalist has nothing personal against drummers, but despite the absence of drums and percussion on Expressive, the rhythmic intensity, drive and energy they normally bring to the music are certainly not lacking.
Expressive's tracks demonstrate considerable variety, from tempo to time signature to style. "Goodbye To You and Me," a loping jazz waltz, features Young's sensitive and relaxed swing feel, while her pinpoint accurate Portuguese propels the quick-paced Brazilian tune, "O Pato." Throughout, Young strikes a beautiful balance between Gretchen Parlato's controlled nuance and Jimmy Rushing's full-throated hollering.
Young's rhythm section is a substantial part of why these selections gel together so well, laying into a particularly deep groove on "Winter Song." Often times laying a backdrop, the members of the trio do take turns in the spotlight, with guitarist Rob Block standing out. In addition, pianist Tom Vaitsas saves "Amazing Grace" from becoming a cursory appeal to popular nationalism, instead turning it into a serious set-closer.
Young's voice and her percussion-less rhythm section reach a level of propulsion not achieved by many groups with a drummer. It will be intriguing to see if Young includes drums or percussion in her future recording projects.
Goodbye To You and Me; O Pato; Born To Be Blue; Autumn Nocturne;
Winter Song; Amazing Grace.
Sarah Marie Young: vocals; Rob Block: guitar, Tom Vaitsas: piano, organ;
Matt Young: bass.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.