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Zach Rich: Solidarity

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Zach Rich: Solidarity
Solidarity consists for the most part of warm, gentle chamber jazz ably performed by Denver-based trombonist Zach Rich, his quintet, a four-piece string section and half a dozen invited guests. Besides playing elegant trombone, Rich, who teaches at Denver's Lamont School of Music, wrote and arranged all of the album's eight handsome songs.

The strings are present on the first six numbers; the seventh, "What Is America Rated?," features Julian Carey's spoken word, while the last, "The Heavyweight," proves that Rich can also write swinging straight-ahead jazz for the quintet (plus guest tenor Austin Cebulske). The opening "Seraph" also cooks in its own way, sprinting beezily along behind the strings and sharp solos by Rich, Cebulske and guitarist Denin Slage-Koch.

The pace slackens on "Broken Mirrors" and pretty much stays there through "Solidarity," "Reprise," "June" and "Anthem"—which does not mean the themes are less than interesting, only quieter. There is much to admire on each one, not the least of which are admirable solos by Rich, Slage-Koch, pianist Gavin Allen-Dunn, bassist Seth Lewis, guest trumpeter Shane Endsley ("Broken Mirrors") and the group's drummer, Gabriel Mangione (who bears a fairly well-known last name; could he have relatives in the music business?).

The strings, which provide a shimmering backdrop on most numbers, have the charming "Reprise" almost to themselves, and fare quite well. As to how America is rated, the verdict there is a firm "R" (the lyric explains why). "The Heavyweight" marks a pleasing departure from the norm, moving nicely as it welcomes cordial solos by Lewis, Rich, Cebulske and Dunn, and is a pleasant way to wrap up an album whose warm-hearted spirit overrides an otherwise less-than-heated persona.

Track Listing

Seraph; Broken Mirrors; Solidarity; Reprise; June; Anthem; What is the World Rated?; The Heavyweight.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Gonzalo Teppa: bass; David Bernot: tenor sax & flute; Austin Cebulske: tenor sax & clarinet; Shane Endsley: trumpet; Wade Judy: trombone; Timothy Gocklin: oboe; Julian Carey: voice.

Album information

Title: Solidarity | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: OA2 Records


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