With chants and drumbeats from around the world, Renee Rosnes has applied a theme to her latest album by integrating mainstream jazz with creative international elements. Regional characteristics from specific areas of Asia, Africa, North and South America are clearly distinguishable, while the unifying thread of her original piano counterpoint ties them together. Seven of the nine compositions are originals. Medieval Spain colors the landscape through Manuel de Falla's "Nana," while Fran Landesman's "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" serves several masters. What kind of world would we have without the ballad? Rosnes' "Hanuman," featuring Chris Potter on tenor, pays homage to Joe Henderson. Life On Earth combines universal elements: things familiar the world over. The pianist's use of a small, contemporary string ensemble, a clarion trombone choir, marimba, and a wide array of percussion instruments serves her multi-cultural audience. As one of the top jazz pianists on today's scene, Rosnes delivers a double-whammy: her swinging piano magic and her creative compositions.
Track Listing: Empress Afternoon; Senegal Son; Ballad of the Sad Young Men; Icelight; Gabriola Passage; The Quiet Earth; Hanuman; Nana; The Call of Triton.
Personnel: Renee Rosnes- piano; Christian McBride, John Patitucci- bass; Billy Drummond, Jeff
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.