203

Brett Sroka: Hearsay

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Brett Sroka: Hearsay Brett Sroka's trombone moans in alone; the trumpet follows, then the tenor sax. The rhythm section sneaks in there on the sly, and the opener, Duke Ellington's "Hearsay" (from The Deep South Suite), churns into a rumbling, channeled cacophony of Jazz—capitol 'J'.

This is trombonist Brett Sroka's debut, and it bears out liner notes author Gary Sisco's assertion that jazz in the last decade has been experiencing an extremely fertile and creative period.

Hearsay is an ensemble effort, a sextet—trombone/trumpet/tenor sax front line, piano/bass/drums rhythm—though it may on an initial listen seem denser than that; an octet or more. This is a testament to Sroka's arranging and composing talents. Complex and intricate interplay, tricky but still geometical textures with enough solo slots to bring out the individual personalities of the instrumentalists.

The Ellington opener, almost fourteen minutes worth, is a driving tour de force. These guys shine with a well-justified confidence; but the highlight for this listener is the Sroka-penned "A Sound Caresses the Breast of a Negress". Mingus-onian title, Mingus-onian composition, with high profile pianist Jason Moran—Sroka's former classmate at Manhattan School of Music—switching to the Fender rhodes, giving a a glass wind chime resonance to the rhythm.

Then there's Charlie Shaver's (an underappreciated artist who did his best work in the mid-forties) "Undecided" that opens with Sroka's slow tempo, J.J. Johnson-like trombone solo before the song cranks up the to almost the fever pitch of the trumpeter's 1940's original.

Hearsay is an auspicious debut. With his arranging and compositional skills, and his trombone chops, comparisons to the late Trombone Master, J.J. Johnson are inevitable, and deserved.


Track Listing: Hearsay, Happy-Go-Lucky-Ism, Tabula Rasa, A Sound Caresses the Breast of a Negress, Undecided, Beloved

Personnel: Brett Sroka, trombone; Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Aaron Stewart, tenor sax; Jason Moran, piano; John sullivan, bass; Eric Harland, drums

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Blue Moon | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Dick's Picks Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/1971" CD/LP/Track Review Dick's Picks Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/1971
by Doug Collette
Published: February 27, 2016
Read "Five" CD/LP/Track Review Five
by John Sharpe
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Slight Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Slight Freedom
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Reconnect" CD/LP/Track Review Reconnect
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Transatlantic Conversations: 11 Piece Band Live" CD/LP/Track Review Transatlantic Conversations: 11 Piece Band Live
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!