All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Jonathan Saraga Quintet: First Vision

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Trumpeter Jonathan Saraga opens his debut, First Vision with the eleven-and-a-half-minute original, "Guidance," a probing rumination that flares up during his solo. The tune as a whole is a slow burn, but it bursts into high flames as it comes to its conclusion.

The leader has assembled a fine quintet of standard configuration—two horns, a chording instrument (here, guitar), bass and drums. The music, all Saraga-penned, has an uncommon freshness coming from a 24 year-old artist who is well on his way to forming his own compositional voice. "Guidance" opens with a ponderous bass line from Jeff Dingler, soon joined by the front line, Saraga and alto saxophonist Colin Gordon. The trumpeter's solo has a succinctness of phrasing, a breathy tone in front guitarist Peter Parks dark chords as drummer Gusten Rudolph seems to push the sound into a higher gear with a gathering momentum, one that downshifts into a coasting mode as Gordon takes his turn out front with a well-constructed solo.

"Rebellion" blows to life with a 1960s Blue Note Records sound, until Park moves into resonant and uncharted territory with a beautifully measured solo in front of some eloquent drum work, giving way to the bright and articulate Saraga.

There are lots of chops all around, but it's the well -synchronized ensemble work that stands out. "Recurring Dreams" opens in a drifting mode, somewhat in the manner of trumpeter Miles Davis Nefertiti (Columbia, 1968), but then the group cranks things up, giving the horns some space to wail.

Jonathan Saraga, who won the 2007 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Solo Competition, and was one of five finalists in the 2009 Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, has shown great promise as a young jazz artist. With First Vision, his excellent recording debut, that promise begins its realization, as a player, composer and bandleader.

Track Listing: Guidance; Rebellion; Recurring Dream; Wandering Child; Rampant Teddy Bear; The Reiki Practitioner.

Personnel: Jonathan Saraga: trumpet, flugelhorn; Colin Gordon: alto saxophone; Peter Park: guitar Jeff Dingler: bass; Gusten Rudolph: drums.

Title: First Vision | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

The Reiki Practitioner

The Reiki Practitioner

Jonathan Saraga
First Vision

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Journey to a New World

Journey to a New World

Fresh Sound New Talent

First Vision

First Vision

Self Produced


Related Articles

Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read From Silence to Somewhere CD/LP/Track Review
From Silence to Somewhere
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Ranky Tanky" CD/LP/Track Review Ranky Tanky
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Inside Turnabout" CD/LP/Track Review Inside Turnabout
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: February 15, 2018
Read "The Best of Bossacucanova" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of Bossacucanova
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Second City" CD/LP/Track Review Second City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 9, 2017