If the title of trumpeter-composer Jonathan Finlayson's sophomore outing doesn't fully express his keenness in balancing conceptual grounding and rigor with fly-to-the-outer-limits expressiveness, the music certainly does. Moving Stillthe highly anticipated follow up to Moment And The Message (Pi Recordings, 2013)finds Finlayson doing what he does best: offsetting intricate lines and latticework with episodes of openness, tweaking thoughts in real time, and slicing through his own architectural creations to penetrating effect. It's a work of grand design and artistic authority, completely in keeping with his debut yet a sizeable step beyond it.
The latest incarnation of Sicilian DefenseFinlayson's chess-inspired bandalmost wipes the slate clean in terms of returning personnel. Guitarist Miles Okazaki is the only holdover from Moment And The Message. The newcomerspianist Matt Mitchell, bassist John Hébert, and drummer Craig Weinribbring a fresh viewpoint to Finlayson's canvases without altering his general outlook or compositional voice. All three have plenty of experience treading, swimming, and churning in deep waters, so it's not really surprising that they fit in so well here. All five of these musicians make the most out of these experiences, whether soloing, acting as a cog in the wheel, or throwing an artfully-aimed wrench in the gears.
While Finlayson clearly has his own sound, which manifests itself through his horn and his band, there's no one-size-fits-all method to his music. In one instance, an African influenced idea may usher in the slow unfurling of a dark meditation ("Between Moves"); in another, a pure-hearted melody with an unconventional substructure serves as the soloist's guide and leads everybody down a path that ends at a whirlpool of thought and action ("Folk Song"); and in a third, three voices build one moving line, as Finlayson, Okazaki, and Mitchell show their quick reflexes and chemistry ("Flank And Center").
With Jonathan Finlayson, you know that you don't know what you're going to get. That's just part of the magic here. Moving Still is simply astounding. It's action, reaction, deliberation, and impulse rolled into one.
All Of The Pieces; Flank And
Center; Space And; Cap vs.
Nim; Between Moves; Folk
Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet;
Miles Okazaki: guitar; Matt
Mitchell: piano; John Hébert:
bass; Craig Weinrib: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.