All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

12

Jonathan Finlayson: Moving Still

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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 Still—the 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 Defense—Finlayson's chess-inspired band—almost wipes the slate clean in terms of returning personnel. Guitarist Miles Okazaki is the only holdover from Moment And The Message. The newcomers—pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist John Hébert, and drummer Craig Weinrib—bring 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.

Track Listing: All Of The Pieces; Flank And Center; Space And; Cap vs. Nim; Between Moves; Folk Song.

Personnel: Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet; Miles Okazaki: guitar; Matt Mitchell: piano; John Hébert: bass; Craig Weinrib: drums.

Title: Moving Still | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Pi Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
3 Times Round

3 Times Round

Pi Recordings
2018

buy
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

Related Articles

Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Telepathy CD/LP/Track Review
Telepathy
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read The Whole Thing Is Just There CD/LP/Track Review
The Whole Thing Is Just There
by John Bricker
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante CD/LP/Track Review
Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Rogue Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rogue Star
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "Vortex" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex
by John Kelman
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Four" CD/LP/Track Review Four
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2018
Read "Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House" CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Invisible Atlas" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Atlas
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 24, 2018
Read "Heart Tonic" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Tonic
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 7, 2018
Read "Nattens Skogar – version for four players" CD/LP/Track Review Nattens Skogar – version for four players
by John Eyles
Published: December 1, 2017