183

Sam Newsome & Lucian Ban: The Romanian-American Jazz Suite

By

Sign in to view read count
Sam Newsome & Lucian Ban: The Romanian-American Jazz Suite Sam Newsome and Lucian Ban took a handful of Romanian folk songs and gave them jazz arrangements, then combined them with some original songs inspired by Romanian culture to produce The Romanian-American Jazz Suite, an excellent balance of the modern and the traditional, rendered artfully by a first-rate band.

"Transylvanian Dance" isn't what one would expect. It's laid-back funk, with Sorin Romanescu scratching on guitar and altoist Newsome and the irrepressible Alex Harding on baritone sax having a humorous and dynamic conversation toward the middle. Ballads like "Carol," "Home" and "Where Is Home" (Newsome sings like a nightingale on the latter two) are rendered with absolute tenderness, with perfect interplay among the band, specifically Ban's usual sure and lovely touch on the piano. "Danube Stroll" doesn't waltz; it's steaming, in-your-face funk. And once Harding steps up with his baritone on the head of the folk song "Colinda," the listener has no chance.

The only song that sounds distinctly Romanian here is, fittingly, "Bucharest, Part One," with nice percussion by Willard Dyson and Harding's moving bass clarinet setting up Newsome's beautiful harmonics-spiked coda that leads right into "Bucharest, Part Two," the jazzier of the twins. Harding's screeching, growling baritone solo here makes one think of how Trane might have sounded had he spent any time with the big horn.

Translations of European folk songs into the jazz idiom certainly isn't new, but one would be hard pressed to find a better example of how it should be done than this.


Track Listing: Transylvanian Dance; Carol; Danube Stroll; Home; Prelude; Golinda; Bucharest, Part One; Bucharest, Part Two; Where Is Home?.

Personnel: Sam Newsome: soprano sax; Alex Harding: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Lucian Ban: piano; Sorin Romanescu: guitar; Arthur Balogh: bass; Willard Dyson: drums.

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


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Another Day in Fucking Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Another Day in Fucking Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Intuitus" CD/LP/Track Review Intuitus
by John Eyles
Published: April 23, 2016
Read "Tournesol" CD/LP/Track Review Tournesol
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "Red Rocks 7/8/78" CD/LP/Track Review Red Rocks 7/8/78
by Doug Collette
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "Bye" CD/LP/Track Review Bye
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Arrhythmia" CD/LP/Track Review Arrhythmia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!