Julian Priester has been a presence on several outstanding recordings from Dave Holland, Anthony Braxton, Sun Ra, and Booker Littleto name a fewbesides playing in the bands of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. His role as a leader has been very limited, and a new album where he leads a band of talented musicians is definitely welcome.
Priester moulds a song with craft. He leads with a slow development of the theme, almost a lazy excursion into the depths, before he wheels around and comes out with pithier, more intense lines. Oblique references have opened up the vein for him to articulate with a sinewy strength. Despite the turn, Priester does not let the moment get out of hand. His impulses are well corralled and he does not somersault into excess, or for that matter go anywhere near it. He twiddles the high registers of the trombone on the improvisatory “Captured Imaginations,” which does precisely that, as all the players parlay invention into conversation that is as impulsive as it is coherent.
The slow undulation of “Blues Sea” opens up on the piano. Clement is edgy, hard, and flinty, and he rides the keys with agility, an exciting bit of adventure. She is the foil to Priester when getting “In Deep” where his gradually rising intensity ignites her incendiary outpouring. And when they all get together for that final ensemble passage, the die is cast on a stimulating piece of work.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.