When Canadian pianist Renee Rosnes decided to make her mark in the jazz world, she wasted no time, making an auspicious start as a member of Joe Henderson's all-female quartet in 1986. Fast forward thirty-five years and her career continues to advance on an upward trajectory. Her third offering for Smoke Sessions, Kinds of Love, is yet another brilliant showcase for Rosnes, both as a pianist and composer. The top tier ensemble assures sublime renditions of the composer's originals, with Christian McBride and Carl Allen forming the sublime trio at the core of it all.
The impending storm of "Silk" kicks off the proceedings, initiated by McBride's ostinato bass line. Chris Potter's vigorous tenor stirs the pot as Rosnes enters with her own two-fisted declarations. A collective jam over ebullient percussion fills culminate in the piece's immediate ending. Following this incendiary statement, the title track speaks in lush, chordal, dollops of sound. Potter takes a brief turn on soprano before the big finish, marked by yet another series of shimmering chords.
Under a bed of Fender Rhodes voicings, Rosnes crafts a tropical outlook complete with Brazilian tinges and the added percussion of Rogerio Boccato on "In Time Like Air." The sum total is something like the classic work of Lalo Schifrin or Deodato. Inspiration being the sounds of a bird in Rosnes' backyard, the piece could easily serve as a soundtrack for a film. In a similar vein, "Life Does Not Wait" features flute and piano unison lines over the undulating beat of Boccato's pandeiro. Potter's tenor perks things up with a frothiness that recalls some of the numbers on Chick Corea's Tap Step.
As good as Rosnes is in setting unique moods, she can still swing with the best of them, as heard on the upbeat "The Golden Triangle," where her chock-o-block chords suggest McCoy Tyner. That ability to swing at bristling tempos is also an asset to "Swoop," where the boppish head serves as mere window dressing to bristling statements from both Rosnes and Potter.
As an obvious nod to the trappings of Covid, the closing "Blessings in a Year of Exile" speaks in hushed tones and with a hint of apropos melancholy. Yet, there remains a suggestion of optimism in Potter's soprano, capping off an album of varied and profound statements from the uber-talented Rosnes.
Silk; Kinds of Love; In Time Like Air; The Golden Triangle; Evermore; Passing Jupiter; Life Does Not
Wait (A Vida Não Espera); Swoop; Blessings in a Year of Exile.
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