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Justin Chart: The Midnight People


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Justin Chart: The Midnight People
Saxophonist Justin Chart is an inventive and versatile musician who spontaneously creates mellifluous and enthralling soundscapes. Leading a synergistic band of like-minded sidemen. Chart excels in live improvisations that are simultaneously free as well as charmingly accessible. His output in the third decade of the century has been prolific without sacrificing artistic vision. The Midnight People is Chart's third release of 2022 and continues the trend started in its predecessors.

The title track, for instance, simmers with a soulfulness and swings with a relaxed swagger. Chart blows his alto with abandon warmly embellishing the main theme.

Keyboardist Charlie Ferguson lays down a passionate and lyrical melody that bassist Bill Markus deftly supports. Meanwhile drummer Abelardo Bolano lets loose with an exhilarating solo that dovetails into the concluding refrains.

This relentless energy remains a hallmark of the album throughout. The opener, "A Blaze of Well Being," progresses with a retro groove as keyboardist Stuart Elster invokes a 1970s vibe with his funky vamps. Chart's own extemporization unfurls with gusto and panache over the group's exuberant cadence. Once again, thunderous polyrhythms, this time courtesy of drummer Danny Beallo, close the tune.

The taut atmosphere crackling with captivating electricity persists throughout. It is especially apparent on its penultimate piece, the cinematic "With the Bunch."

Elster's mordantly sweet keys buoy the thrilling and fiery exchanges between Chart's gritty alto and trumpeter Mike Rocha's resonant horn. Bassist Bill Markus takes center stage with crisp, reverberating lines that enhance the dramatic mood before Chart and Rocha engage in an ardent duet replete with shimmering tones.

Markus bows with expressive beauty on the boppish "One Pure Star" and demonstrates a remarkable agility as he matches Chart's vocals.

On "Lettin' Go" Chart showcases his superb scatting skills as he launches into breathtaking voice acrobatics that are as unique and innovative as his saxophone playing.

With The Midnight People Chart has produced another fine addition to his superb discography, demonstating his continuously evolving style that nevertheless remains easily recognizable as his own. The fluid synergy within the group, Chart's own virtuosity, and the intricately constructed and charismatic themes make this a highly enjoyable and satisfying set.

Track Listing

A Blaze Of Well Being; Welcome To The Midst; A Rose Tinted Realm; Lettin' Go; The Tale Was Told; Lickity Split; She Absorbed Him; One Pure Star; With The Bunch; The Midnight People.


Additional Instrumentation

Andrew Hill: bass.

Album information

Title: The Midnight People | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Universal Music Group



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