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Sean Jones: The Search Within

Edward Blanco By

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With The Search Within, his fifth recording on Mack Avenue Records, Sean Jones continues the musical journey he first embarked on at the tender age of 24 with his 2004 debut, Eternal Journey. A trumpeter, composer and educator (Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies, Duquesne University), Jones is one of the finest young trumpeters in the business, recognized for his "lyrical fluidity and high-tier facility," which he ably demonstrates on this recording with both his trumpet and flugelhorn work.

After the brief, one-minute opening "The Search Within (Interlude)," the music explodes with the fast-paced hard bop cruncher "Transitions," featuring Jones on trumpet and alto saxophonist Brian Hogan, who is magnificent throughout and especially brilliant on Frank Foster's "Sean's Jones Comes Down." With the introspective ballad of "The Ambitious Violet" and the Afro-Latin rhythms of "The Storm," Jones includes music inspired by the writings of Lebanese-American poet/mystic Khalil Gibran of The Prophet (Alfred A. Knopf, 1973) fame. Despite its inspirational source, with Jones leading the way on trumpet, the music is characterized by soft and warm tones on the former, and a percussion-rich, burning groove on the latter.

Jones takes to the flugelhorn for the brisk "Life Cycles," featuring a circular melody that takes advantage of Swiss-born Gregoire Maret's harmonica and flautist Erika Von Kleist. Carolyn Perteete lends her seductive vocal style to the down-tempo "Letter of Resignation," augmenting Jones' heart-warming flugelhorn phrases. Pianist Orrin Evans and drummer Obed Calvaire are particularly pronounced on such tunes as "Summer's Spring," "Transitions" and "The Ambitious Violet."

The journey comes to an end with Frank Foster's "Sean's Jones Comes Down" and the impassioned love ballad of "Love's Lullaby," highlighting Jones on one more soft trumpet trek, climaxing an exceptional recording. Jones seems to have covered all the angles here; assuring the The Search Within will be considered among the best albums of the year.

Track Listing: The Search Within (Interlude); Transitions; The Ambitious Violet; Life Cycles; The Storm; Letter Of Resignation; The Search Within (For Less); Summer's Spring; Sunday Reflections; Sean's Jones Comes Down; Love's Lullaby; The Search Within (Postlude).

Personnel: Kahlil Kwame Bell: percussion; Obed Calvaire: drums; Luques Curtis: bass; Orrin Evans: piano, Fender Rhodes; Brian Hogans: alto sax; Sean Jones: trumpet, flugelhorn; Gregoire Maret: harmonica (4); Carolyn Perteete: vocals (6); Walter Smith III: tenor sax; Erika von Kleist: flute (4, 8, 11).

Title: The Search Within | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

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