Trombonist Darren Sigesmund made an impression with his debut recording Strands (Timely Manor) which was released in 2008. The music drew from jazz, Latin, Brazilian, and classical influences. Sigesmund has expanded his group to a septet adding vocalist Eliana Cuevas and percussionist Daniel Stone as special guest Tim Ries (soprano and tenor saxophones and flute) as he continues exploring and merging different streams on Strands II.
Sigesmund's writing is enriched by his ability to immerse himself into several genres. Interlocking styles often elevate a composition and with his band of men getting into the crux of the music, the narrative is often compelling.
Gyrating on the percussion of Stone, "El Inicio" breaks into an open ended dialogue between Sigesmund and Ries. Gone is the playful introduction, now replaced by fire and passion as the two trade exchanges, ride a storm of interlocking inventions that get another earthy tangent when Deniz comes in. The ensemble is lively and kicking with the wordless voice of Cuevas soothing the heat.
The gentle fragility of a Middle Eastern melody invents "Dance For Leila." But given Sigesmund's knack for changing the face of a composition, the tune is metamorphosed by the beat that gets a modern dance tick. Ries expands the perimeters of the original scale on the soprano saxophone with a swarm of provocative ideas. Reg Schwager (guitar) pulls in the pulse and lets the notes flow with a sweet tang.
Sigesmund infuses a delicate grace into the tender ballad "Last Tango." He is an articulate emissary, conveying his message with thought and feeling. Once more, Ries is in for the ride and has another delightful meeting with Sigesmund. The spark is instantaneous and the two have a swinging time before they retract to reflect on the theme.
Sigesmund pays attention to timbre and texture and is a romantic as well. Put together, this CD makes for a pleasurable listen.
Track Listing: La Isla Negra; Free Spirit; Dance For Leila; August Ballad; Castle in the Storm; Sambango; Last Tango; El Inicio.
Personnel: Darren Sigesmund: trombone; Eliana Cuevas: vocals; Reg Schwager: guitar; Luis Deniz: alto saxophone; Jim Vivian: bass; Daniel Stone: percussion; Ethan Ardelli: drums; Tim Ries: tenor and soprano saxophones, flute.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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