All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Jonathan Finlayson: Moment and the Message

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
For those who've been watching the rise of trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson in recent years, his long awaited debut, Moment & The Message, not only displays his insightful playing and individualism but also some imposing composing skills. A prodigy who impressed pioneer saxophonist Steve Coleman when he performed in high school, Finlayson later moved to New York, attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and has thrived for ten years as a vital member of Coleman's iconic Five Elements collective.

While he's garnered acclaim in ensembles of up-and-coming leaders like saxophonist Steve Lehman and guitarist Mary Halvorson, this auspicious project highlights Sicilian Defense, Finlayson's working band of gifted peers who are also formidable leaders. The trumpeter's lyricism, verdant tone, and stylistic idiosyncrasies are complimented by Cuban expat piano sensation David Virelles, Miles Okazaki's illuminating guitar and the underpinning of experts drummer Damion Reid and bassist Keith Witty.

Together, they form a potent but pliable unit that can handle their leader's swirl of arduous grooves, modernist swing, and European and Latin flavors. Another factor is the way Finlayson expounds on his learning from Coleman's progressive concepts such as the conceptualism in "Circus" which incorporates a jagged groove cadence reminiscent of saxophonist Henry Threadgill's works before morphing into an elegant surrealist theme.

Though the music is thought-provoking it's also filled with a strong sense of melodicism found in Okazaki's stunning work in "Tensegrity" or the copacetic vibe of "Carthage" where Finlayson lays down an elaborate yet poised solo while the band works through detailed accompaniments. Other insights include intricate instrumental conversations in "Ruy Lopez," appropriately named after the classic opening moves of a chess game; or the almost thirteen minute "Fives and Pennies" built around an increasing metronomic pattern. While Finlayson's playing is cognizant of the great players that have paved the way, it's refreshing that he's seeking his own path and not trying to mimic them.

Track Listing: Circus; Lo Haze; Ruy Lopez; Carthage; Tensegrity; Le Bas-Fond; Tyre; Fives and Pennies; Scaean Gates.

Personnel: Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet; Miles Okazaki: guitar; Damion Reid: drums; David Virelles: piano; Keith Witty: bass.

Title: Moment And The Message | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Pi Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Moving Still

Moving Still

Pi Recordings
2017

buy
Moving Still

Moving Still

Pi Recordings
2016

buy
Still Moving

Still Moving

Pi Recordings
2016

buy
Moment And The Message

Moment And The Message

Pi Recordings
2013

buy
Moment & The Message

Moment & The Message

Pi Recordings
2013

buy
 

Illusionary Sea

Jazz Messengers
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Love + Time + Divination CD/LP/Track Review
Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018
Read Gleb Kolyadin CD/LP/Track Review
Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018
Read NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil// CD/LP/Track Review
NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: February 22, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018
Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Glow of Benares" CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "66 67" CD/LP/Track Review 66 67
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Heaven On Their Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Southern Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Blood
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "New Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review New Horizons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 3, 2018