3

Andrea Brachfeld: Lady of the Island

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Flautist Andrea Brachfeld has always professed an affinity for jazz and, though her background clearly demonstrates varied musical tastes, she has always been a hard bop musician at the core. Lady of the Island is the realization of a dream where the music selected reflects the jazz styles that tugs at her heart the most. Begun many years ago, this album is a triumph over personal and professional challenges, a session of tasteful, swinging and unquestionably entertaining melodies.

The flautist performs with a core quartet augmented by special guests including piano great Bill O'Connell and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon (one of Brachfeld's musical influences) who appear on the opening "Bebop Hanna," setting the stage for a tantalizing set. Flawlessly performing O'Connell's arrangement of pianist Herbie Hancock's "Eye of the Hurricane" (one of the flautists' favorites), trumpeter Wallace Roney, Gordon, bassist Andy Eulau drummer Kim Plainfield and O'Connell all making an impression.

Duke Ellington's masterful "I Got It Bad" is the set's first ballad, a duet performed exquisitely by Brachfeld on alto flute with O'Connell, together turning in one of the album's clear highlights. The core quartet delivers another highlight on the original "Little Girl's Song," featuring pianist Bob Quaranta in a pronounced role as the leader withdraws a bit, allowing the band to make its mark. Borrowing from O'Connell's songbook, the group lays down a swinging, hard bop rendition of "Dead Ahead," with Roney's blazing trumpet accompanying the leader on her own dazzling C- flute solo.

On one of the hardest driving pieces of the recording, alto saxophonist Todd Bashore flies high on a version of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's "Birdlike," propelled by Wycliffe's strong playing and the leader's own floating lines. O'Connell and Brachfeld join forces for the defining statement of the project on their beautiful, co-written ballad, "In The Center." The Latin-tinged title track offers just as complimentary a performance, adding conguero/percussionist Chembo Corniel and Brachfield's background vocals to the mix, along with young Cuban flugelhornist Yasek Manzano, for another set highlight.

As with the album's opening salvo, Brachfeld closes this audacious album in the same swinging fashion with the sizzling, Latin-influenced rhythms of "Four Corners." The award-winning Andrea Brachfeld draws on her experience with many genres, her affinity for the Latin flair including performances in Cuba, and her love of jazz, encapsulating an assortment of rich melodies and swinging grooves on Lady of the Island. The selection of music and the personnel listing alone is enticement enough to sample the treasures found on this island.

Track Listing: Bebop Hanna; Eye Of The Hurricane; I Got It Bad; Little Girl's Song; Dead Ahead; Birdlike; In The Center; Lady Of The Island; Four Corners.

Personnel: Andrea Brachfeld: C flute (1, 2, 4-7, 9), alto flute (3, 8), vocals (8); Bob Quaranta: piano (4, 9), Fender Rhodes (8); Andy Eulau: bass (1, 2, 4-9); Kim Plainfield: drums (1, 2, 4-9); Todd Bashore: alto saxophone (2, 6); Chembo Corniel: congas (2, 6, 8, 9), percussion (8); Wycliffe Gordon: trombone (1, 2, 6); Yasek Manzano: trumpet (2, 6, 9), flugelhorn (8); Bill O'Connell: piano (1-3, 5-8); Wallace Roney: trumpet (2, 5).

Title: Lady Of The Island | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Zoho Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Stolen Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Hybrid" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrid
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Ephimeral" CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "In Times Like These" CD/LP/Track Review In Times Like These
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Like Songs Like Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Like Songs Like Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.