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...

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

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb3Sun
Lena Bloch & Feathery
Scholes Street Studio
Brooklyn, NY
$20
Feb18Mon
Lena Bloch, Larry Roland, Waldron Ricks, Billy Mintz
Bph Bushwick Party House
Brooklyn, NY
$15
Mar26Tue
Lena Bloch & Feathery
University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center Concert Hall
Amherst, MA

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019