189

James Finn: Faith in a Seed

By

Sign in to view read count
James Finn: Faith in a Seed Somewhat of a late bloomer as a leader, James Finn seems to be making up for lost time. After the release last year of his debut, Opening the Gates, on Cadence Records, Finn promptly returned to the studio with his trio, featuring Dominic Duval on bass and Warren Smith on drums, to make this record—and Plaza de Toros, with the same group, is already slated for release next month.

Arranged as a suite, Faith in a Seed is "a musical story about the life of a seed, as Finn puts it, but is also clearly a sort of spiritual allegory, as the titles of the individual songs suggest, from the opening title track to numbers like "A Weathered Spirit Resolute and the closing "Walking With Angels. The spirituality of Faith in a Seed, though, is less akin to warm, easygoing gospel than the restless, searching, often harsh spirituality of late Coltrane, whose work Finn's music sometimes resembles. This is not a recording that goes down easily, but it does reward repeated listenings.

Finn often resorts to intense flurries of notes and the high-pitched, wrenching screeches beloved of avant-garde saxophonists, and these moments of high intensity tend to dominate one's initial impression of the record. But after a few times through, the quieter places start to register, and these spots, where Finn is more restrained and allows his melodic ideas room to breathe, come to seem the real high points of the record—the tiny whispering sounds of "Willing Through Darkness are seen as more profound than the earthquake of "A Weathered Spirit Resolute.

Though Finn has clearly already developed a strong voice as an improviser, it will be interesting to see where his new role as a leader takes him. Already with this record, and apparently with the forthcoming Plaza de Toros, he has shown an sound inclination to make albums with a strong sense of organization and thematic unity. Partisans of free jazz will be happy to have Finn on the scene and will be eagerly looking to him for more.


Track Listing: 1. Faith in a Seed (6:50) 2. Struggling to See the Sun (9:25) 3. Willing Through Darkness (8:32) 4. A Weathered Spirit Resolute (16:50) 5. All the Love Shining On (7:22) 6. Bright Leaves Yellow and Green (4:08) 7. With a Pocket Full of Sundrops (6:22) 8. Walking With Angels (5:00)

Personnel: James Finn - tenor saxophone; Dominic Duval - bass; Warren Smith - drums

Title: Faith in a Seed | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: CIMP Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "That Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review That Feelin'
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "PausaLive" CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Zea" CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Lowdown Hoedown" CD/LP/Track Review Lowdown Hoedown
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 3, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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