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...

6

Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano

Tyran Grillo By

Sign in to view read count
Jocelyn Medina
Jazz at Kitano
Birthday Bash
New York, NY
April 11, 2018

With the release of her third album, Common Ground, still fresh with resonance, New York-based vocalist Jocelyn Medina turned the open space of Jazz at Kitano into her own vibrational field for a celebration of birth and everything that spins from it into life. Joining her wavelength were pianist Art Hirahara, bassist Evan Gregor, and drummer Mark Ferber, who in concert brought an immediacy to music that was otherwise wrapped in timeless themes. Such impulses were only emphasized in her original "Cosmic," a smoothly contoured and groovy entity who shone with sparkling profundity, and "Two But Not Two," a beautifully intoned expression of duality in all things. Treading the line between within and without, she and her bandmates set a tone of reconciliation of spectral opposites, as also in the Indian raga-inspired "Simple" and the title song of her latest CD, through which she communicated an overarching message: faith and love are as universal as those things seeking to destroy them both.

"Slow It Down" rounded out her self-penned selections with neo-soul flair, practicing the very reciprocation it preached. Yet even the ways in which Medina navigated songs lifted from other songbooks proved her capable of making everything she touches her own, as evident in her treatment of Brazilian material. In both the wordless comforts of Hermeto Pascoal's "April 4th" (her birthday song of choice) and the rainbow palette of Pixinguinha's "Lamentos," she evoked much-needed warmth for this year's as-yet-distant spring. Such contrasts of fantasy and reality abounded in her take on Rodgers and Hart's obscure examination of naivete, "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and in her soulful rendition of Leonard Bernstein's "Big Stuff." In each of these, she tilted her vocal magnifying glass just so, until the emotional joss paper of each lyric gave up its ghost for every memory gone into its making.

Through it all, Gregor brought melodic fortitude, threading the improvisational needle only where it felt most appropriate, while Ferber adapted his playing to the needs of every context, his moods ranging from tactile to airy and back again. Hirahara, for his part, brought hefty yet crispy playing to the fore, switching from delicate comping to vivid solos on a dime. A poorly chosen metaphor, perhaps, because ultimately this performance was less about material pleasures than our collective need to shed their attraction in favor of larger questions that only music can answer.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Jazz Migration 2018 Live Reviews
Jazz Migration 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Bessie Smith Empress of the Blues Tribute at The Cabot Live Reviews
Bessie Smith Empress of the Blues Tribute at The Cabot
by Doug Hall
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290 Live Reviews
Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290
by Martin McFie
Published: December 9, 2018
Read U2 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin Live Reviews
U2 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 9, 2018
Read David Johansen at The Space at Westbury Live Reviews
David Johansen at The Space at Westbury
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Joshua Bowlus Trio at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Joshua Bowlus Trio at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "Temple University Jazz Band at The Appel Room" Live Reviews Temple University Jazz Band at The Appel Room
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Trondheim Jazzfest 2018" Live Reviews Trondheim Jazzfest 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club" Live Reviews Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club
by Nat Seelen
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club" Live Reviews Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club
by Gareth Thomas
Published: April 13, 2018