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Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

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Jonathan Finlayson's music has clarity of sound and atmosphere and, at the same time, keeps you on the edge of your seat. The American trumpeter knows how to make challenging music accessible, which he has already shown in the bands of Steve Coleman, Henry Threadgill and Steve Lehman. Like their music, his own compositions are also full of surprising twists and turns. On his most recent album, Moving Still, he establishes a logical connection between jazz, the rhythms ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Finlayson: 3 Times Round

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As a solo artist, trumpeter/composer Jonathan Finlayson (Steve Coleman, Henry Threadgill) has been forging a rapid growth-pattern, conspicuously illustrated here, on his third release for Pi. On his previous solo outings for the label, Finlayson was the lone horn player with his band Sicilian Defense. Now, he broadens his scope by employing eminent saxophonists, Steve Lehman and Brian Settles. Indeed, it's an all-star aggregation of like-minded cohorts, who are willing to take risks with the utmost verve and intensity.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Finlayson: 3 Times Round

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Listening to the music of Jonathan Finlayson is kind of like being in the audience of a TED Talk where the entire house is packed with PhDs. You understand the presenter is operating on a higher level, and so the acquisition of knowledge requires attention and some discipline. But you come to expect a challenge from this trumpeter/composer. Schooled the past 18 years as a member of Steve Coleman's Five Elements, Finlayson delivers music with a surgical precision, as evidenced ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Finlayson: Moving Still

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Trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson has been an in-demand sideman for a decade, laying a foundation of top-tier groundwork in recording with Steve Coleman on all of that uncompromising composer's Five Elements albums since 2002. Finlayson's performing credits include gigs with Ravi Coltrane, Steve Lehman, Mary Halvorson, Vijay Iyer, and many other notable artists. Not until 2013 did the trumpeter/composer release Moment and the Message (Pi Recordings), his first--and highly acclaimed--outing as leader of the quintet, Sicilian Defense. He returns with six ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Finlayson: Moving Still

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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, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Finlayson: Moment and the Message

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The final scene from the 1998 cult classic movie, The Big Lebowski, has the cowboy narrator telling the audience: “Then, I happen to know that there's a little Lebowski on the way. I guess that's the way the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuatin' itself, down through the generations, westward the wagons, across the sands a time."In jazz, musical knowledge also perpetuates itself through the generations, keeping its wagons rolling. Case in point: trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, who joined ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense: Moment & The Message

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Trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson communicates a vibrantly rhythmic platform on Moment & The Message. His resume includes work with alto saxophone luminaries Steve Coleman and Steve Lehman; the album opener “Circus" is stylistically framed on pioneering woodwind legend Henry Threadgill's geometrically patterned compositions. But Finlayson rests on his own laurels with this debut solo effort. The set is highlighted by snappy detours, brisk arrangements, zigzagging pulses, and nimble interludes that offset the darting and impactful dialogues between the soloists.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Finlayson: Moment and the Message

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For those who've been watching the rise of trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson in recent years, his long awaited debut, Moment & The Message, not only displays his insightful playing and individualism but also some imposing composing skills. A prodigy who impressed pioneer saxophonist Steve Coleman when he performed in high school, Finlayson later moved to New York, attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and has thrived for ten years as a vital member of Coleman's iconic Five Elements ...