Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

7

Lena Bloch & Feathery: Heart Knows

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Lena Bloch mocks the "sophomore jinx" myth with her second CD release, Heart Knows. The tenor saxophonist's debut, Feathery, drew a good deal of well-deserved praise. With her saxophone intertwined with a responsive guitar/bass/drums rhythm section, Bloch paid tribute—in part—to pianist Lennie Tristano, via her relationship with alto saxophonist Lee Lee Konitz. On Heart Knows, Bloch moves along in the same loose groove, adding at times some flexible Middle-Eastern motifs, and stretching her own compositional skills to the highest limits, having penned four of the eight tunes on the disc.

The set kicks off with the twelve minute "Lateef Suite," drawing inspiration from another of Bloch's mentors, Yusef Lateef. Like almost all of Bloch's music, there is a sense of mystery, of slinking through the dark streets on this extended novella, and it introduces the guitar's replacement in her quartet, the piano of Russ Lossing. On Feathery, Dave Millar's guitar gave the sound a crisp, metallic tang, lending a sense of modernity to the music. Lossing's piano injects a warmth, a heightened improvisational melodicism, and a quirky individualism that makes the experience sound timeless. The story of the"Lateef Suite" is one of two narrators—Bloch and Lossing—taking turns laying down what sound like elusive but profound truths inside the understated hosannas of drummer Billy Mintz and bassist Cameron Brown.

Heart Knows is an unwaveringly cohesive set. Pianist Lossing wrote half the eight tunes here. He and Bloch seem be of like musical minds. Lossing's "French Twist," clocks in at near thirteen minutes. Like all the music here, it seems like a story, labyrinthine and elastic. It also sounds as sad as can be, not unlike—in mood—the heartbreaking Gordon Jenkins' standard, "Goodbye." Indeed, it feels like someone saying goodbye, for good, through a gauze of lingering love.

The odd, flexible, bone-deep gorgeousness of the two extended pieces—"Lateef Suite" and "French Twist"—is stunning. Twenty-five minutes of beauty that's easy to get stuck on. There's a sense that these were conceived as more compact experiences that grew in length out of the sympatico and improvisational acumen of the quartet. Apart from these two near masterpieces, there's another forty-five minutes of first rate music on Heart Knows, all of it complex, compelling and beautiful, sounds of the highest quality and inspiration laid down by a premier jazz quartet.

Track Listing: Lateef Suite; Heart Knows; Three Treasures; French Twist; Esmeh; Counter Clockwise; Munir; Newfoundsong.

Personnel: Lena Bloch: tenor saxophone; Russ Lossing: piano; Cameron Brown: bass; Billy Mintz: drums.

Title: Heart Knows | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Thank You For Coming To Life" CD/LP/Track Review Thank You For Coming To Life
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "A Piece of the Apple" CD/LP/Track Review A Piece of the Apple
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "Monk's Cha Cha" CD/LP/Track Review Monk's Cha Cha
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "Mist. Moss. Home." CD/LP/Track Review Mist. Moss. Home.
by Jim Olin
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Seeing Is Believing" CD/LP/Track Review Seeing Is Believing
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Heavy Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Weather
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: February 15, 2017

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!