All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

190

John Esposito: The Blue People

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Blue is the color of the blues. It's the mood of sadness and tranquility. It's the freedom and infinity of the ocean and the open sky. It's the rhythm and roots of jazz. The future and the past coalesced into a moment of improvisation.

Pianist John Esposito's The Blue People seems to unite all the aspects of the color blue. The music on the album has the sweep of history while still being able to sound totally fresh. It's pure, challenging jazz music, which ought to have a broad appeal to those who have grown tired of straight standards and worn-out clichés, but who still want music within a recognizable historical frame.

Nevertheless, Esposito is a well-kept secret to the initiated few who speak of his music in glowing terms. To those in the know, his Sunjump label has become a reliable source for music that connects the threads of past and present with both new and historical recordings being published.

The Blue People is one of the label's most important releases in that it presents all original material from Esposito, where diverse influences—ranging from African music, modern composition and classical baroque to swing, bop and avant-garde—melt together into a forceful, coherent expression.

The lightning fast notes of the opening "Boppin'" bring to mind Charlie Parker's sophisticated train of thought, as Esposito's hands moves swiftly across the keys without losing track of the music's emotional content. Humor is also present on the funnily titled "Just Fiends," which plays on the standard "Just Friends." The musical content, however, is anything but standard, with a rhythmically complex exotic groove anchored by bassist Kenny Davis.

Contrapuntal technique is used on the title track, with saxophonist Eric Person and trumpeter Greg Glassman weaving lines in and out in a fiery tribal dance.

"Joan" is a shimmering ballad with crystallized accompaniment from Esposito and spine-tingling blowing from Person, while "Fast Ride" is exactly what the title implies: a fast, unconventional blues on which the rhythm section of Davis and drummer Pete O'Brien get the chance to flex their muscles.

Whether playing breakneck-tempo blues or slowed-down ballads, Esposito's compositions maintain an originality which rises out of both intellectual and emotional knowledge of jazz and its history. It's blue music played inside out.


Track Listing: Boppin'; Just Fiends; Late November; Flex; The Blue People; Joan; Musashi; Rhyme; Fast Ride.

Personnel: John Esposito: piano; Greg Glassman: trumpet; Eric Person: saxophone; Kenny Davis: bass; Pete O'Brien: drums.

Title: The Blue People | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunjump Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Orisha by Jakob Baekgaard
  • Inyo by Jakob Baekgaard
Record Label Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Orisha

Orisha

Sunjump Records
2010

buy
Inyo

Inyo

Sunjump Records
2009

buy
The Blue People

The Blue People

Sunjump Records
2009

buy
Flying With The Comet

Flying With The Comet

Sunjump Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Colours of Sound CD/LP/Track Review
Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read A Blast From The Past CD/LP/Track Review
A Blast From The Past
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Rhapsody CD/LP/Track Review
Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read You're Driving Me Crazy CD/LP/Track Review
You're Driving Me Crazy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Zero" CD/LP/Track Review Zero
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Ellipse" CD/LP/Track Review Ellipse
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Heritage" CD/LP/Track Review Heritage
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 3, 2018