Toronto-based trumpeter / composer Marie Goudy
, who could plausibly be described as a child prodigy musically, wasted little time after earning a master's degree in music performance from the University of Toronto in 2017, recording soon afterward The Bitter Suite
as leader of a twelve-piece ensemble in which her trumpet, compositions and arrangements underscore the seductive voice of rising star Jocelyn Barth
The album's over-arching them is young love as exemplified by its arrival ("Son for Sunshine"), warmth ("Autumn's Embrace"), heartbreak ("Winter"), renewal ("Lilacs") and awareness of loves lost and times past ("Remember the Days"). There is also a brief "Intro" on which Goudy's crystalline trumpet sets the shadowy mood before the ensemble enters to amplify its Mingus-like theme. Trumpets blare to open "Son of Sunshine," a buoyant march ushered forward by Barth, trumpeters Goudy, Brad Eaton
and a closing triadic serenade by Barth, Goudy and tenor saxophonist John Nicholson. Nicholson and alto Matt Woroshyl are the animated soloists on "Autumn's Embrace," another earnest theme that swaggers to a resonant mariachi beat. The temper cools on "Winter," with Barth showing her range and intensity while trombonist Paul Tarussov
and guitarist Chris Platt
solo with assurance. Hope reappears and blossoms on the waltz-like "Lilacs," pressed home by pianist Josh Smiley, baritone Conrad Glutch and Barth (at her sensuous best, as she is on the even-tempered and charming finale, "Remember the Days," ably abetted by Woroshyl on soprano sax).
The ensemble is trim and well-balanced; its actual size, however, is quite another matter. According to Goudy it's a 12tet; on the other hand, fourteen musicians (including Goudy and Barth) are listed on the jacket, while a photo inside shows sixteen (one of whom could be the album's producer, trumpeter and mentor John Macleod
). The reasonable inference is that not all of them appear on every number. Aside from that enigma, and a concise forty-minute running time, an impressive debut for Goudy and her comrades.
Intro; Son for Sunshine; Autumn's Embrace; Winter; Lilacs; Remember the Days.
Andrés Gándara: vihuela.