We're moving!

All About Jazz is moving to a new location. Please refrain from submitting content, updating content, sending messages, placing orders, etc. until we remove this notice. Thanks for your patience.

3

Jonathan Saraga: First Vision

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Jonathan Saraga: First Vision
Award-winning trumpeter Jonathan Saraga's First Vision, is a skillfully conceived and exquisitely realized debut that brings to mind the edgy, envelope-pushing hard bop of many a Blue Note record in the early 1960s. The modal melodies are artfully orchestrated, allowing each musician the full breadth of his spontaneous creativity without resorting to unfettered clamor. Not a single note is wasted.

Whether on trumpet or flugelhorn, Saraga's clear, elegiac tone weaves intricate musical tales around the themes. "Guidance," a contemplative piece, features Levantine hints, especially in Jeff Dingler's oud-like bass solo.

Saraga's poetic sense comes through clearly on "Wandering Child," opening with lilting, lullaby-like lines alternating between flugelhorn and alto saxophone. Saraga's expressive and circular improvisation, with its strong hints of eastern harmonies, evolves into a troubadour's lovelorn song. Peter Park's darkly simmering guitar brings another dimension to this wistfully memorable tune.

Park leads the rhythm section, supportively punctuating the wind instruments' conversation on "The Reiki Practitioner," another composition with an oriental touch. Altoist Colin Gordon echoes Saraga, creating a haunting ambience before the trumpeter's warm, complex and engrossing flight of improvisational fancy.

Gordon's serpentine saxophone ebbs and flows in an inventive extemporization, alternating between cool expansiveness and fast, piercing and passionate staccato on the angular and bluesy "Rampant Teddy Bear." While the loosely swinging cadence is anchored around Dingler's slightly off-center bass, Gusten Rudolph's bottom-heavy and exhilarating rolling drums produce intricate patterns.

The quintet also exhibits inventive ensemble work on the crepuscular ballad, "Recurring Dream." The languid horns set a laidback mood while the rhythm instruments bubble underneath. The ardent Saraga/Gordon duet fades into a cooler ambience as the group concludes on a nocturnal tone.

On his first outing as a leader, Saraga demonstrates a rare blend of individuality and maturity. Hopefully First Vision serves as the cornerstone for a brilliant career.

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.

Album information

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

Watch

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read Human Rites Trio
Human Rites Trio
Jason Kao Hwang
Read Totem
Totem
Ferdinando Romano
Read Pure Heart
Pure Heart
James Carney
Read Love Letter
Love Letter
Jimmy Heath
Read Symbolic Reality
Symbolic Reality
Matthew Shipp String Trio

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
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.