Saxophonist Catherine Sikora makes a bold and singular statement with her solo album Jersey. Each of the 13 tracks is both a fully realized and poignant stand-alone monologue as well as an essential link in an intimate and deeply personal artistic expression.
A serene, logical progression of notes transforms the calm "The Knowing of Sums" into a passionate and blue-tinged improvisation. Energetic and crisp lines weave a graceful melody that returns to the opening quietude. The ardent and contemplative "Firefly Night" follows as a natural progression. Sikora's tenor effortlessly glides along the tune leaving in its aftermath smoldering emotion and an echo of lyricism.
Sikora creates variety of ambiences, channels a captivating array of emotions and articulates stimulating musical ideas throughout the record. Her long, plaintive notes on "Ripped from the Headlines" set a melancholic mood while her pensive spontaneous phrases are laced with reserved angst and restrained ire.
On the short and evocative "The Edge of Truth" the dramatic use of silent pauses underscores the eloquence of Sikora's soliloquy. Simultaneously intelligent and soulful the music brims with a languid poetic sense. In contrast the dense "Speedbag Swivel" is a passionate extemporization with emotive depth in its angry outbursts and cerebral edge in its innovative delivery.
There are moments of sublime reflection that delight and intrigue. Sikora marks the somber and wistful "Clashes with Ice" with simmering and breathy tones as she muses introspectively. The engaging, multilayered piece evolves with an Eastern lilt that imbues it with a definite spirituality.
With her fifth release as a leader, Sikora has produced her most mature and fully realized work yet. Her virtuosity and her ingenuity are in full view as she manages single handedly to thrill and engross through this intellectually provocative CD. The disc is a testament to the brilliance of Sikora's career.
Track Listing: Ripped From The Headlines; The Knowing Of Sums; Firefly Night; Pistol Grip; Barn
Door Open; The Edge Of Truth; Clashes With Ice; After All; Scapegoat; Mirrorless;
Storms A Brewin'; Speedbag Swivel; Tassels On The Day.