4

Jasmine Lovell-Smith: Fortune Songs

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Jasmine Lovell-Smith: Fortune Songs A debut CD has to be good to get noticed—really good. Also, behind the pretty, well-designed cover art, an aspiring jazz person with a low profile has to have some nerve to put forty-five minutes to an hour of brand new music out there. At the very least, a new-to-the-scene artist better be able to run with the pack of more established players, or be quickly forgotten.

Soprano saxophonist Jasmine Lovell-Smith, who moved to New York from New Zealand in 2010, has put together a marvelous quintet, Towering Poppies. Her soprano horn is paired a bit unusually with a trumpet and rhythm section that can definitely run with the pack. Fortune Songs features all-original music from the leader, who has crafted a very fresh sound.

Though Lovell-Smith is the leader, it's definitely a group effort. Opening with "Confidence (One)," the band reveals a chamber jazz esthetic on this bright and very engaging melody. Lovell-Smith's tone on the straight horn is rich and warm, and melds beautifully with Big Chief Russell Moore's trumpet. With a deceptive spontaneous complexity, in the five way interplay, the approach is simple and straightforward. The leader takes a solo and subtle, cool things happen all around. Cat Toren slips into a reflective piano turn on a trio interlude filled with drummer Kate Pittman's constant small surprises with bassist Patrick Reid's agile foundation. With a relaxed and patient confidence, Moore blows in with just enough notes until Lovell-Smith returns for some gorgeous two-horn harmony.

The set maintains a continuous reflective mood and a pastoral, folksong-like quality. "Darkling I Listen" opens with Lovell-Smith sounding like a forest piper as she gives way to a searching piano trio until Reid takes the lead in the spare, magic comps of Toren and Pittman. "Confidence (Two)" unfolds, as does all the music here, with a measured grace, a meditation of subtle tones, and intricate rhythmic nooks and crannies.

Fortune Songs transpires effortlessly, with the quintet deeply connected, as they lay down these beautiful melodies. It is a superb debut by an artist and a band that does much more than run with the pack. Topping this with a sophomore effort is going to be a challenge—one that Jasmine Lovell-Smith can surely pull off.

Track Listing: Confidence (One); Darkling I Listen; Let Go Be Free; Confidence (Two); Seven of Swords; A Nest to Fly; Lover's Knot; When the Tide is Right.

Personnel: Jasmine Lovell-Smith: soprano saxophone; Russell Moore: trumpet; Cat Toren: piano; Patrick Reid: bass; Kate Pittman: drums.

Title: Fortune Songs | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Paintbox Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Narrante" CD/LP/Track Review Narrante
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "Luma" CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Tracé Provisoire" CD/LP/Track Review Tracé Provisoire
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 10, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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