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

Title: Hearsay | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Blue Moon


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "The Crave" CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "OWT" CD/LP/Track Review OWT
by John Sharpe
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Oratorios and Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Oratorios and Songs
by John Eyles
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Malamute" CD/LP/Track Review Malamute
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 27, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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