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David Ambrosio / Russ Meissner: Moments in Time

Jakob Baekgaard By

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For a long time, bassist David Ambrosio has been a vital part of the jazz scene in New York City and his playing has been documented on many releases, including the wonderful trio recordings by pianist Eri Yamamoto.

In 2014, a new chapter began in Ambrosio's story when he released his first album as a leader on Fresh Sound New Talent: Gone. Here, he was in the good company of alto saxophonist Loren Stillman and drummer Russ Meissner. Both of them return on Ambrosio's second release in his own name, Moments in Time, with Meissner as the co-leader of the project.

This time, the trio of Ambrosio, Stillman and Meissner is augmented by pianist Leonard Thompson, guitarist Nate Radley and Matt Renzi on tenor saxophone and English horn. The result is a finely textured album where the musical voices complement each other perfectly. Soft horns weave in and out of each other on the opener "Permaculture," with a riverbed of piano chords, guitar, bass and drums played with brushes. Gradually, the tune evolves into more free territory, changing in a rhythmical ebb and flow.

The title track adds layer upon layer, starting with an eloquent solo from Ambrosio before Meissner enters and then Thompson slowly plunges in while the horns break in just before the 3-minute mark and an abstract swinging piece starts to cook with beautifully sculptured horn lines.

Ambrosio and Meissner have penned the majority of the compositions that are rich on melodic hooks and narrative development. These are not merely blowing tunes, but compositions that justify the inclusion of different instruments.

Moments in Time is released by SteepleChase in the label's LookOut series, aimed at showcasing musical talent that deserves more exposure. Hopefully, this record will put the spotlight on these two highly accomplished composers and players.

Track Listing: Permaculture; Hourglass; No V; First Time On The Moon; 12th Street; Far West; Rogers Ave; Moments In Time; Vibey 7.

Personnel: Loren Stillman: alto saxophone; Matt Renzi: tenor saxophone, English horn; Leonard Thompson: piano; Nate Radley: guitar; David Ambrosio: bass; Russ Meissner: drums.

Title: Moments in Time | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Steeplechase Lookout

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