New York-based trumpeter/composer Suresh Singaratnam makes his debut as a leader with Lost in New York, a well-conceptualized set of original progressive jazz. A recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, the Toronto native explores a musical landscape as diverse as his adopted New York home, toying with syncopated ostinatos, extended vamps, layered rhythms and straight-up bebop.
Singaratnam is an agile improviser with strong technique who can manage his way through an up-tempo blues like "M104" and the harmonically-rich medium swinger "Chrysanthemum."
More than a mere showcase for an up-and-coming trumpeter, the disc is as much a vehicle for Singaratnam's sidemen, especially saxophonist Jake Saslow and pianist Fabian Almazan, who are featured prominently throughout. Saslow's lyrical tenor playing shines on the fast-paced "Peripheral Fission" and saves the drawn out "Fortress of Song" from becoming overly redundant. Almazan throws caution to the wind while soloing and accompanies with sensitivity and rhythmic precision.
Other disc highlights include guitarist Jessie Lewis' extended solo on the boppish "Beneath a Smile" and bassist Fraser Hollins' melodic turn on the spirited waltz "She Spoke Well."
All in all, Lost in New York is a strong, honestly-conceived effort from a group of interesting young voices in jazz.
Track Listing: Temporal Incursions; M104; Beneath a Smile; Spring For All But Me;
Chrysanthemum; Fortress of Song; Remnants of Eternity; She Spoke Well;
I love jazz because it's been a life's work.
I was first exposed to jazz by my father.
I met Hampton Hawes.
The best show I ever attended was Les McCann.
The first jazz record I bought was Herbie Hancock.
My advice to new listeners is to listen at a comfortable volume.