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Suresh Singaratnam: Lost in New York

Woodrow Wilkins By

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Suresh Singaratnam: Lost in New York International in residency, Suresh Singaratnam is also multi-faceted when it comes to his music. Lost in New York, his third release, is an amalgamation of sound.

Born in Zambia, Singaratnam has also lived in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. He revealed a hint of his eclectic interest when, as an eighth-grade student, he asked a music teacher if she knew any trumpet player who played both jazz and classical music at a high level. The answer was Wynton Marsalis.

"M104" begins with trumpet and tenor in a duet. When the rest of the group joins, Singaratnam takes off on a spirited lead. His tone is clear—distinct but not blaring. Jake Saslow follows, with piano, bass and drums grooving in the background.

"Beneath a Smile" begins as a leisurely stroll, with trumpet and tenor sharing the lead. What was a walk in the park turns into a scamper. Singaratnam delivers a series of rapid-fire phrases over bass and drums. Lee Pearson's play gives the illusion of a slower pace before the pace actually slows. When it does, all goes quiet for Jesse Lewis. The guitar brings a moment of stillness, perhaps as the urban wanderer stops to look at something. Gradually, the background restores a sense of movement. At first, the wanderer is uncertain whether to go this way or that, but as the pace quickens, Lewis is more decisive and continues the adventure.

The rest of the group takes a break while Charenee Wade and Jamie Reynolds join the leader for "Spring for All but Me." The two guests open this tranquil piece. Singaratnam doesn't appear until his middle solo.

All nine songs were composed by Singaratnam. Each, in its own way, presents a sense of someone exploring the various personalities of New York City. And with more than five minutes per song, the musicians have plenty of room to stretch out.

Track Listing: Temporal Incursions; M104; Beneath a Smile; Spring for All but Me; Chrysanthemum; Fortress of Song; Remnants of Eternity; She Spoke Well; Peripheral Fission.

Personnel: Suresh Singaratnam: trumpet; Charenee Wade: vocals (4); Jake Saslow: tenor saxophone (1-3, 5-9); Jesse Lewis: guitar (1, 3, 6, 7, 9); Fabian Almazan: piano (1-3, 5-9); Jamie Reynolds: piano (4); Fraser Hollins: bass (1-3, 5-9); Lee Pearson: drums (1-3, 5-9).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Suresong Music | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


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