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Craig Yaremko: Sync

Woodrow Wilkins By

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Chemistry. The term can refer to a number of things. In music, it represents that just-right, often perfect, blend of sounds when musicians complement one another well. Chemistry is what you get on saxophonist Craig Yaremko's Sync.

Yaremko is a fixture on the New York jazz scene. His experience has included live performances of classical, rock and pop music, as well as jazz. A short list of his stage and studio comrades includes Randy Brecker, Paquito D'Rivera, Bob Mintzer, Dave Samuels, Dave Valentin and Ray Vega. On Sync, Yaremko's third album as a leader, he is accompanied by three musicians with whom he's worked on several occasions, including other recordings.

Adding to this album's chemistry are Nathan Eklund on trumpet and flugelhorn, Bill Moring on bass and Steve Johns on drums. Yaremko also throws in some flute and bass clarinet on some tracks.

Yaremko and Eklund take off on some rapid-fire melodies on the title song. With Moring and Johns setting the pace, Yaremko then carries the lead alone until Eklund comes back in with his own free-spirited solo. Johns' hi-hat and snare work underscore the solos, slipping in crash and splash cymbals at the appropriate times. He also contributes solos of his own, breaking up the call and response between Yaremko and Eklund.

The quartet puts a unique stamp on the Beatles' "Michelle. Enough of the original melody is left intact to make this song recognizable. However, the arrangement makes it seem a very different song. Yaremko and Eklund again share the lead before delving into their own solos.

Yaremko's bass clarinet sets the somber mood of "Trance Prelude, an unaccompanied opus that sets up "Trance. On the latter, Eklund's muted trumpet complements Yaremko while Moring and Johns underscore this hypnotic tune. Moring and Johns also contribute solos.

Throughout Sync, Yaremko skillfully moves among saxophones, flute and bass clarinet, showing his prowess as both a songwriter and a musician.

Track Listing: Two Kings; Sync; Time Goes; Remember; Zingaro; Topwise; Michelle; 9/19; Ruby, My Dear; Trance Prelude; Trance.

Personnel: Craig Yaremko: saxophones, flute, bass clarinet; Nathan Eklund: trumpet, flugelhorn; Bill Moring: bass; Steve Johns: drums.

Title: Sync | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Jazz Excursion Records


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