Sometimes, finding a good jazz record is a bit like fishing: either you catch something or you don't. The search is always on for that particular phrase, beat or tune that will transport the mind to a state of bliss: the state called jazz.
Coming across an album like Pearl River seems like a lucky find. Like finding a pearl in a river. But there's more than plain luck involved in the case of Danish guitarist Jakob Bro. For a long time, Bro has been a leading figure on the blossoming Danish jazz scene. His many credentials include work with the acclaimed group Beautiful Day and trumpeter Jakob Buchanan, but most of all Bro is known internationally as a member of Paul Motian's band.
Pearl River is the third release from Bro as a leader, finding him in excellent company with drummer Motian, bassist Ben Street and saxophonists Mark Turner and Chris Cheek. The four players achieve a high level of interaction and melodic sophistication. It is remarkable to notice how Bro has developed his own lyrical style with slight inspiration from Bill Frisell, John Abercrombie and Jim Hall.
The opener, "Verse,â
Track Listing: Verse; Pearl River; Elephant; Black Is All Colors At Once; Red Hook Railway; Welcome; Mosquito Dance; Chinatown; 3X3.
Personnel: Jakob Bro: guitar; Ben Street: double bass; Paul Motian: drums; Mark Turner: saxophone; Chris Cheek: saxophone.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.