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Justin Chart: The Scarlet Jazz Room

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Justin Chart: The Scarlet Jazz Room
Improvisation is one of the key elements of jazz, and it isomething listeners expect to hear in most performances. However, it is often a part of the overall composition, which is based around a central melody. But saxophonist Justin Chart takes improvisation a step further with The Scarlet Jazz Room. This album relies almost entirely on improvisation, and the result is quite impressive.

Some might assume that this amount of improvisation would suggest that it's some sort of free jazz performance. This isn't the case at all. Each of the songs has a structure and cohesion that seems like the band is reading carts, even though they aren't. As Chart describes it, he calls the changes, the tempo, and the band takes off from there.

An approach like this wouldn't be possible without an exceptional group of musicians, and these players pull it off without a hitch. Rather than having a core group throughout, Chart features a variety of players. Chart plays alto saxophone, along with Mike Rocha on trumpet; pianists Bob Remstein, Ben Dabiri, Sam Ross, and Chris Potter; Ryan Roberts, Bill Markus, and Johnny Hatton on bass; drummers Danny Beallo, Adam Denham, and Matt Lesser; and Jernej Copic on cello.

There is an atmospheric quality to many of the album's songs, which gives an overall cinematic feel. Much of the album has a film noir quality, and numbers such as "With Passion And Wonder" or "Ever My Knight" sound like they could easily be music from a 1950s' detective film. The only thing missing is a private eye voiceover.

Chart's alto sax playing is as cool as it gets, but there are other moments when players get a chance to stretch out. Ben Dabiri's piano on "The Gallant Game," Mike Roca's trumpet on "Eros At Eventide" and "With Passion And Wonder,' and Ryan Roberts' bass on "Knowing Pleasure Is Flowing" all provide evidence of the high level of musicianship at work.

It's hard to believe that The Scarlet Jazz Room is almost entirely improvised. The album really sounds like all of the songs were composed beforehand. This impressive album shows the creative abilities of this group of like-minded musicians.

Track Listing

An Answer Of Balance; The Gallant Game; Through Reticent Windows; Knowing Pleasure Is Flowing; Eros At Eventide; Ever My Knight; With Passion And Wonder; Shape Of My Shade; A Jazz Life.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Jernej Copic: cello; Bob Remstein: piano; Ben Dabiri: piano; Adam Denham: drums; Chris Potter: piano; Justin Chart : voices (8).

Album information

Title: The Scarlet Jazz Room | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Universal Music Group


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