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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Saraga: Journey to a New World

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It's been five years since Jonathan Saraga's debut release, First Vision, but the trumpeter's sophomore album was worth waiting for. Saraga's precise and passionate technique, combined with thoughtful, well- constructed compositions (and a couple nicely-arranged cover tunes) make for a stimulating listen that rewards on a number of levels. The record's title captures the feel of the music well, as each track pursues its own distinctive path, often developing in unexpected ways that are melodically rich and rhythmically sophisticated.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Saraga Quintet: First Vision

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When young artists release their first album, it's always tempting to say they “show potential" or “are off to a good start," but those comments tend to be kindly veiled takes on “you get an A for effort, but should have waited a bit longer." Jonathan Saraga need not worry about having such pacifying comments thrown his way; the trumpeter's First Vision isn't the stuff of amateurs on the brink of musical maturity, it's a stand-up-and-take-notice offering. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Saraga Quintet: First Vision

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Trumpeter Jonathan Saraga opens his debut, First Vision with the eleven-and-a-half-minute original, “Guidance," a probing rumination that flares up during his solo. The tune as a whole is a slow burn, but it bursts into high flames as it comes to its conclusion.The leader has assembled a fine quintet of standard configuration--two horns, a chording instrument (here, guitar), bass and drums. The music, all Saraga-penned, has an uncommon freshness coming from a 24 year-old artist who is well ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Saraga: First Vision

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Award-winning trumpeter Jonathan Saraga's First Vision, is a skillfully conceived and exquisitely realized debut that brings to mind the edgy, envelope-pushing hard bop of many a Blue Note record in the early 1960s. The modal melodies are artfully orchestrated, allowing each musician the full breadth of his spontaneous creativity without resorting to unfettered clamor. Not a single note is wasted. Whether on trumpet or flugelhorn, Saraga's clear, elegiac tone weaves intricate musical tales around the themes. “Guidance," ...