Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Victor Haskins: Showing Up

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Since he burst onto the scene, Victor Haskins has developed a robust reputation as a modern-day jazz storyteller. His utterly sincere approach to his art is in the highest jazz tradition of exploration and innovation. With Showing Up, Haskins has taken his message to yet another higher level.

The album, Haskins' second, presents his "Skein"—comprised of himself acoustically and electro-enhanced, a bassist and percussionist—delivering ten highly intelligent, textured tracks. Each presents its own eclectic musical poetry. Haskins is genie-like here, granting listeners stimulating mind-colors and both emotional range and depth via his original compositions. This is music for introspection and involvement.

"Touch" opens the session with Haskin's horn a morose, melismatic ribbon which weaves over his engaged partners. "Grey" is a faster dance, featuring the leader's EWI (electronic wind instrument) and other electronic effects along with a terrific solo by bassist Pharr. The quirky "Reliving the Past" wah-wahs a creative romp where Haskins stretches out with faster, technically-adept lines interposed with acoustic and electro-enhanced ideas.

Haskins' cornet tone is warm and inviting. He has chops of both technique and deep expression. One might draw similarities here with the work of trumpeter Tomasz Stanko ("Morning" and the intense "Spite") and Wynton Marsalis on the speedier rides. His incorporation of EWI and other effects avoids gimmickry (read TV game show synth-slides) and offers textural alternatives to same. Throughout, the playing of bassist Pharr and percussionist Martucci is nearly perfectly integrated with Haskin's melodic, improvisational and overall creative approach.

On the burner "Swift," Haskins and crew are a speedball where the leader shows he's got improv chops aplenty. "Five in the Pocket" is a funk gem that will assuredly ear-worm and probably be picked up as bumper music somewhere in the media; it has that vibe and catchy appeal. "Enemy at the Gate" is a martial-texture feature—a game of tones. "Psithurism," a highly intense and wildly electronic rhythmic track, has exotic over-and undertones. It's a furious send-off.

Showing Up is a superb foray into a marvelously creative mind, performed by superior players. It will not be for all tastes. However, as with more exotic cuisine, the enjoyment—and potential ecstasy—is in starting the tasting. Dig in.

Track Listing: Touch, Grey, Reliving the Past, Swift, Five in the Pocket, Morning, Enemy at the Gate, Spite, The Aura, Psithurism.

Personnel: Victor Haskins: cornet, EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument), sound design and sound effects; Randall Pharr: double bass; Tony Martucci: drims and percussion.

Title: Showing Up | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Catching Up With
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Showing Up

Showing Up

Self Produced

The Truth

The Truth

32bar Music



Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019
Read Rhyme And Reason Album Reviews
Rhyme And Reason
By Mark Corroto
February 21, 2019
Read The Definition of Insanity Album Reviews
The Definition of Insanity
By Nicholas F. Mondello
February 21, 2019
Read Omhu Album Reviews
By Jakob Baekgaard
February 21, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Karl Ackermann
February 20, 2019
Read Gary Album Reviews
By Dan McClenaghan
February 20, 2019