All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "The Cheap Ensemble" CD/LP/Track Review The Cheap Ensemble
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Octet Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Octet Vol. 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman" CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Jazz In Movies" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz In Movies
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Back to the Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Back to the Sunset
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 7, 2018
Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 11, 2018