3

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

More Articles

Read Alto Gusto CD/LP/Track Review Alto Gusto
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Flow CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Originals For the Originals CD/LP/Track Review Originals For the Originals
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Killing Bugs CD/LP/Track Review Killing Bugs
by Kevin Press
Published: November 20, 2017
Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Feather" CD/LP/Track Review Feather
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Behind The Mist" CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Get Up And Go" CD/LP/Track Review Get Up And Go
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor