118

Kelly Brand Nextet: The Door

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Kelly Brand Nextet: The Door One of the things I miss most about no longer living in the Chicago area is seeing and hearing groups like pianist Kelly Brand's Nextet, known only to a small number of enthusiasts in the immediate neighborhood but deserving a much wider audience. One of the musicians I miss most is trumpeter Art Davis, a bellwether of the ensemble who has long been an admirably resourceful improviser and one of the Windy City's unsung treasures.

True story. Some years ago, when Brand was upset by a harsh and unflattering review, I said to her, "Shrug it off, Kelly. Keep doing what you're doing. You're a fine musician, and your day will come. She did, she is, and it has. The Door, Brand's fourth recording as leader and first for Origin Records, is a consistently delightful session and a sparkling showcase for her several talents, as she not only comps and solos with assurance but wrote and arranged everything save Wayne Shorter's sensuous "Night Dreamer, to which she added lyrics.

Mari Anne Jayme, a crystal-voiced contralto, breathes life into those words, as she does "An Old Road and "The Question. Augmenting the group on "The Question is Brand's and bassist/husband Kelly Sill's daughter, cellist Naomi Sill, who helps make it truly a family affair. Among the instrumentals, two that expressly grabbed my ear are "Ding Song and "Bitter Blew the Winds of March, the first performed by the Nextet (which is actually a quintet), the second by Brand, bassist Sill and drummer Jon Deitemyer.

Davis offers several trim, well-reasoned solos, as does tenor saxophonist Geof Bradfield. The full Nextet is present on half a dozen selections, while the trio backs Jayme on "Road, and a quartet (including Bradfield) does the honors on "Dreamer. As befits its title, the session opens with the sound of a doorbell ringing, followed by a door opening, and ends (about ten seconds after the final note) with the sound of a door being closed.

Based on what she and her colleagues have done here, that door definitely isn't closing on Kelly Brand's career. Quite the contrary. Once unlatched and open, The Door should lead to any number of agreeable avenues, all of them teeming with promise, not to mention ample and well-deserved praise for the Nextet.


Track Listing: Ding Song; The Tides; An Old Road; Try Silence; The Question; Bitter Blew the Winds of March; Night Dreamer; Number Nine; Ill Take You There; Show Me the Door.

Personnel: Kelly Brand: piano; Geof Bradfield: tenor saxophone, flute; Art Davis: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kelly Sill: bass; Jon Deitemyer: drums, percussion; Mari Anne Jayme: vocals; Naomi Sill: cello.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Live At Zaal 100" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Zaal 100
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Live in Athens, Greece" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Athens, Greece
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "The Drive" CD/LP/Track Review The Drive
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!