's Of Memories to Come
is a peaceful affair, a sunny set of tunes that offers optimism and solace. While much of the album sparkles with energy and verve, there is also a soft touch to Alexander's piano technique that, like Keith Jarrett
or Bill Evans
, allows the sweetness of the piano to emerge.
Alexander's compositions are engaging and warm, and his bandmates help to give the music a deep but subdued friendliness, not unlike the warmth of a fireplace on a winter evening. Calvin Lennig
's bass lines will sometimes follow Alexander's right hand melody in unison, and he generates a tone that is reverent and deep. Drummer Michael Knippschild
adds the color of falling leaves to the affair with his brush work and delicate approach. The result is a collaboration of melodic lines that grow and bloom.
Alexander's music has a rich quality, and the opening number, "Sublime," sets the mood of the album with a simple but refined tone poem. "Of Memories To Come" suggests the anticipation one might feel awaiting the arrival of a special friend. Knippschild's lines plow underneath the soaring Alexander piano lines before he takes over with a bass solo that rips without roaring.
Other numbers utilize blues chords, but chords that are more centered on happy-go-lucky feelings than sadness. One can hear this best on "Tightrope Walk," where Lenning has plenty of room to maneuver beneath Alexander's full-fingerings. Guest artist Heidi Bayer's flugelhorn adds to the carefree feeling, and her work on the break is an invigorating flurry of notes that twist and shudder like a pennant over a stadium on a windy day. Bayer makes another appearance on "On the Verge" and her phrases heighten the flowing blues. Another tune, "Wandering," is like a journey into the woods where the forest seems to run together in a kaleidoscopic tapestry.
Lenning's up-and-down-the-neck bass solo kicks things off on "Fumblin,'" a song that accelerates through changes like a taxi switching lanes during a Manhattan rush hour. Knippschild gets into the action with a funky solo that comprises some nifty off-tempo work across the trap and cymbals.
On the buoyant and upbeat Of Memories to Come
, Alexander has crafted a positive toast to the future. Let's hope his vision comes true.
Track Listing: Sublime; Of Memories To Come; Finding Happiness (Interlude); Hastily Hesitant; Fumblin’; On The Verge; Wandering; Ease My Mind; Reprise (Interlude); Tightrope Walk; Mantra.
Personnel: Jan Alexander: Piano, Synthesizer; Calvin Lennig: double bass; Michael Knippschild: drums; Heidi Bayer: Flugelhorn.
Title: Of Memories To Come
| Year Released: 2019
| Record Label: Fattoria Musica Records