All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Sam Braysher: Golden Earrings

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Mostly these days aspiring jazz musicians hear the songs of the American Songbook as "jazz standards," their melodies taken as jumping-off points for improvisational flights of fancy that move the tunes far beyond their earlier incarnations as pop tunes or Broadway showstoppers. It's a distinction that the young English altoist Sam Braysher makes in the liner notes to his debut album Golden Earrings, recorded in collaboration with pianist Michael Kanan. The duo also took note of it when preparing to record this album, going back to the original recordings, learning the original lyrics and consulting the sheet music for the compositions to be found here.

Braysher and Kanan's approach results in a fresh approach to some old favourites and a welcome revisiting of some lesser-known pieces from composers such as Tadd Dameron, Duke Ellington and Jerome Kern. The tunes are stripped back to their essentials, melodies and counter-melodies are played sensitively—swinging, but unshowy.

The best-known tunes are Dietz and Schwartz's "Dancing In The Dark" and the Irving Berlin medley of "What'll I Do," "Always" and "Remember." On the Dietz and Schwartz number Kanan plays the melody while Braysher adds a counter melody based on the orchestral arrangement from the 1953 movie The Band Wagon. Kanan plays "Always" solo—a restrained and affecting performance.

Charlie Parker's "Cardboard" offers another example of the duo's unison playing and lightness of touch. Braysher's "BSP" (a contrafact based on the chords of "Love For Sale") is the album's only original composition, a complex, medium tempo, tune inspired by his interest in Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh. "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans," that staple of trad and Dixieland bands, provides the album with a jaunty closing track: Kanan and Braysher end it with a unison performance of Lester Young's solo from the 1938 Kansas City Six recording. It's a suitable finale to a lovely album.

Track Listing: Dancing In The Dark; Cardboard; Irving Berlin Waltz Medley - What'll I Do, Always, Remember; BSP; All Too Soon; In Love In Vain; The Scene Is Clean; Beautiful Moons Ago; Golden Earrings; Way Down Yonder In New Orleans.

Personnel: Sam Braysher: alto saxophone; Michael Kanan: piano.

Title: Golden Earrings | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Golden Earrings

Golden Earrings

Fresh Sound New Talent
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Light Of Love CD/LP/Track Review
Light Of Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Heaven Steps To Seven CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven Steps To Seven
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 23, 2018
Read In The Blue Light CD/LP/Track Review
In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "Tell Me The Truth" CD/LP/Track Review Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "The Toronto Sound" CD/LP/Track Review The Toronto Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 4, 2018
Read "In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983" CD/LP/Track Review In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Parallels" CD/LP/Track Review Parallels
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 8, 2018
Read "Return of Robert Dickson" CD/LP/Track Review Return of Robert Dickson
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Book Of Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Book Of Sound
by Gareth Thompson
Published: December 8, 2017