Australian-born bassist Jesse Byrom-Carter finds himself at home in the New York City jazz scene with his first album. His compositional strength is at the forefront, with tunes that contain discernable melodies and a controlled, yet dynamic, rhythmic range. The ensemble is tethered nicely, with a prudent use of soloing. Instead, the listener is treated to the collective and tightly-knit grooves of the ensemble as a unit. As much as Byrom-Carter has a solid feel as a bassist, he impressively gives way to the overall sound in finding the fullest and richest presentations of his variant-tempo creations. In relation to the former, his upright take on "As Is" clearly illustrates that he has listened to another Carter a time or twothat being Ron Carter, of course. As much as solos are mostly eschewed in favor of the group approach, it would be remiss not to mention the fervent contribution from trombonist Alan Ferber on the opening and title track, "The Next Tomorrow is Yesterday." This is a rewarding jazz composition that sets the tone for what follows. Later, trumpeter Alex Quinn and guitarist Adam Rogers share stylish takes on the slightly avant-garde "Hy Brasil." In "Hand of Fate" the ensemble is in the sure hands of alto saxophonist Michael Bliss. The horn section is in full collaboration, developing a full, big sound that the entire ensemble navigates assuredly in the energized arrangement of "Metamorphosis." Throughout the record, drummer Ken Ychicawa is a key component, controlling the directional compass with understated yet mindful precision.
The seven-track outing features two vocals by Alina Engibaryan. At the mid-point of the record she quietly takes us though "Dreams Untethered"; her nuanced scat singing enriches this entry which also demonstrates Byrom-Carter's skills as a lyricist. The Next Tomorrow is Yesterday closes with Engibaryan walking on "The Edge of Space," perhaps the best melody on the record. Although the vocal is sung in fine fashion, the ensemble deliver the instrumental parts in a manner that embraces and embellishes the melody. It is a tune that would surely have shone as an instrumental-only piece. Byrom-Carter's debut album could lead one to believe that he willto borrow his own lyrics from "Dreams Untethered""search for the silver linings with ambitions of gold" as he embarks on a promising musical career.
The Next Tomorrow Is Yesterday; As Is; Dreams Untethered; Hy Brasil; Hand of Fate; Metamorphosis; The
Edge of Space.
Alina Engibaryan: vocals; Alex Quinn: trumpet; Michael Bliss: alto saxophone; Alan Ferber: trombone; Eric
Adam Rogers: guitar; Ryan Slatko: piano (1, 3, 4, 6); Santiago Leibson: piano (2, 5, 7); Jesse Byrom-Carter:
upright and electric basses; Ken Ychicawa: drums.