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...

1

Roger Beaujolais: Sunset

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Vibraphonist Roger Beaujolais' name may not be familiar to listeners on the American side of the pond, but he's been a pretty steady presence on the British scene for decades, making a splash with The Chevalier Brothers, hitting the studios with artists as far apart as rocker-turned-folkie Robert Plant and Cuban icon Omara Portuondo, and leading his own sessions of various sizes under different guises. For this, his nineteenth album to date, he fronts a quartet that's content to soak up beauty and send it back out on its way.

Sunset is free of gimmicks, never trying to push boundaries or stake claim to any concept. But boring it's not. Beaujolais and company—pianist Robin Aspland, bassist Simon Thorpe, and drummer Winston Clifford—explore eventide without falling into slumber. This band harnesses the radiant light that ushers in the dark, bringing positive energy to the fore on nearly every song. From Thorpe's stout-voiced introductory lines all the way through to the end, these four shine bright.

The joyous "Unlucky For Some" opens the album and exists as something of a misnomer, presenting itself with with an uplifting, Benny Golson-esque tunefulness while offering a glimpse of this group's collective chemistry. "Benign Tonight" follows, giving Beaujolais a chance to ride high over Clifford's percussive prodding; "And When You Smile" dials down the temperature into a more comfortable place; and Cole Porter's "I Love You" swings with melodic grace and charm. Then the centerpiece—"In The Meantime," a ballad filled with yearning and painted with pastel colors—offers time for deep reflection before Beaujolais starts to move toward album's end.

The second act of Sunset opens on a gently waltzing "Little B's Poem," giving Beaujolais a chance to nod toward the great Bobby Hutcherson before reinvesting himself in his own work. Then the final pair of originals—a slinking "Round The Houses" bookended by a devious unison lead and the breezy, Brazilian-coated title track—carry this date toward its conclusion, a place where an excitable "Yesterdays" serves as Beaujolais' right and true parting statement. There's nothing fancy or forward-thinking to see here, just beautiful music performed by a solid quartet. Sometimes that's all you need.

Track Listing: Unlucky For Some; Benign Tonight; And When You Smile; I Love You; In The Meantime; Little B's Poem; Round The Houses; Sunset; Yesterdays.

Personnel: Roger Beaujolais: vibraphone; Robin Aspland: piano; Simon Thorpe: double bass; Winston Clifford: drums.

Title: Sunset | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019
Read The Early Bird Gets Album Reviews
The Early Bird Gets
By Mark Corroto
February 16, 2019
Read The Newest Sound You Never Heard Album Reviews
The Newest Sound You Never Heard
By Jerome Wilson
February 16, 2019
Read Think Big: Like Me Album Reviews
Think Big: Like Me
By Paul Naser
February 16, 2019
Read Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII Album Reviews
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII
By Karl Ackermann
February 15, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Peter Hoetjes
February 15, 2019