The University of Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania houses one of the premier music schools in the United States. Director Don Glanden has released several discs showcasing the talents of those he mentors. The 2019 edition is the delightful and engaging Lyric Motion. It features three different groupings of a dozen of the most accomplished students, together with Glanden, on eight mainstream originals.
The tunes range from guitarist Dave Allen's laid-back title track to pianist Ian Sadock's passionate "Night Terror." The former opens on an expectant note with bassist Shane Aaserud and drummer Matt Scarano laying down a tense and hypnotic backdrop. Allen gets off on a fiery start with Sadock laying down block chords over which saxophonist Iming Lin blows short poignant phrases. Lin then embellishes the melody first with contemplation and then with extroverted gusto complementing the changes in tempo. Sadock himself extemporizes with pensive cascades of notes leading to bassist Alex Delcourt's lyrical solo.
By contrast, Aaserud's "Malice" is an undulating ballad with soaring saxophone lines from Anthony Nigro and sashaying rhythmic flourishes from the trio of guitarist Jun-Ki Lee, Aaserud and drummer Kevin Blanke. Lee contributes erudite and muscular chords and Blanke uses his brushes for an understated yet restless cadence. Equally emotive is vocalist Raimundo Santos' Latin tinged "Lonely Heart."
Works like Lyric Motion are the result of admirable dedication on the part of faculties and students and will help jazz to continue to grow and prosper.
Slipping Glimpser; Night Terror; Malice; Lyric Motion; Sudden Breeze; Untold Story; Lonely Heart; Far Cry From
Don Glanden: keyboards; Shane Aaserud: bass, composition; Dave Allen: guitar, composition; Kevin Blancke:
drums; Alex Delcourt: bass, composition; Collin Killion: drums; Austin Kruczek: guitar; Jun-Ki Lee: guitar; Iming
Lin: saxophone; Anthony Nigro: saxophone; Ian Sadock: piano, composition; Raimundo Santos: vocals,
composition; Matt Scarano: drums.