Fixtures. Florian Ross has shown up as leader on three Naxos Jazz releases. The two previous to this one are the Florian Ross Quintet Seasons and Places (86029) and Florian Ross Suite for Soprano Saxophone and String Orchestra (86037). Florian Ross’ musical conception is as broad as that of Uri Caine who has most recently been investigation the jazz elements of Gustav Mahler and Tin Pan Alley. Ross’ style can best be described as exploratory. His quintet recording is very much avant-garde and modern. His suite for soprano saxophone was probing and free. Lilacs and Laughter is his most fully realized project to date. It is an effective mixture of mainstream jazz and classical brass ensemble. Not exactly third stream, but a genre-buster to be sure.
Ross’ piano is for the most part introspective. His playing and writing are precise. His horn ensemble operates with the cohesiveness of a classical ensemble. Of note are the “Vamps” he includes. These are finely crafted musical vignettes, tone and rhythm pictures. This is interesting and intelligent music. Look out, Uri.
Track Listing: Opening Chorale; Opening Fanfare; Lilacs And Laughter; Vamp 1; Mutual Recognition; Rondo #5 Four Is A Company; At The Movies; Vamp 2; Vamp 3; Old New City; Vamp 4; Aldersong (Encore). (Total Time: 73:49)
Personnel: Florian Ross: Piano; Ingold Burkhardt, Claus Stotter, Eric Vloeimans: Trumpets; Christine Chapman, Ruth Funke: French Horns; Jurgen Neudert, Nils Wogram: Trombones; Ed Partyka: Bass Trombone, Tuba; Ingmar Heller: Bass; John Hollenbeck: Drums; Manfred Knaak: Conductor.
The first jazz record I received
as a visiting gift from my
Japanese uncle at his
international division of
Toshiba EMI Tokyo was a
sample copy of Miles Davis'
Bitches Brew. A game
changer redirecting my
browsing habits and collection.