All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

4

Allison Au: Forest Grove

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The best artists—writers, painters, musicians—create distinct  new worlds. Canada's Allison Au has done just that with her Juno-Award-winning  (2016, Jazz Album of the Year) recording,  Forest Grove. The music therein is Au's personal  vision transformed into a set of sounds with a continuity of purpose. A rarity for a young artist.

Au says she was attracted to what she refers to as the simplicity of the jazz quartet as a vehicle for realizing the vision of her original compositions, the oft-used format of her fellow altoists Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz, and Art Pepper. If fact, the opening cut of  Forest Grove, "Tides," sounds, melodically, like something Charlie Parker might have written, or played.

Au's pen is a strong one. The compositional aspect of the disc stands out—a crafting of, in part, pastoral atmospheres and nostalgic reveries bumping up against boppish grooves. "Aureole" rolls in an up-tempo modern jazz mode. Keyboardist Todd Pentney proves himself a major force here, and throughout, mixing up his piano contributions with the B3 organ, Rhodes, Wurlitzer and synths, adding different hues to the full and beautiful sounds. "Deluge" is a jazz march, Au's alto issuing anguished cries. "Tumble" is pensive, the simple arrangement showcasing Au's horn as it tells ai perhaps melancholy story.

Three tunes include the understated wordless vocals of Felicity WIlliams, a shadowing of Au's alto, adding a gorgeous harmonic layering to the sound, nudging it in the direction of the orchestral.

A fine, alluring and deservedly award-winning effort that points to a bright future for Allison Au.

Track Listing: Tides; Bolero; Aureole; The Clearing; Deluge; Through Light; Tumble; You Ordinary Stranger; They Say We Are Not Here.

Personnel: Allison Au: alto saxophone; Todd Pentney; piano, Hammond B3, Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, synthesizers; Jon Maharaj: bass, electric bass; Fabio Ragnelli: drums, percussion, Felicity Williams: vocals (2, 4, 9).

Title: Forest Grove | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Live! CD/LP/Track Review
Live!
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 19, 2018
Read My Favorite Things(1960-1969) CD/LP/Track Review
My Favorite Things(1960-1969)
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 19, 2018
Read The Acadian Orogeny CD/LP/Track Review
The Acadian Orogeny
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 19, 2018
Read Drift CD/LP/Track Review
Drift
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Journey Moments CD/LP/Track Review
Journey Moments
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island CD/LP/Track Review
Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read "Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Manhattan
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 1, 2018
Read "I Believe In You" CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Evergreen" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Ellipse" CD/LP/Track Review Ellipse
by Matt Hooke
Published: March 27, 2018
Read "Zero" CD/LP/Track Review Zero
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "2" CD/LP/Track Review 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2017