No longer standing in the shadows of the greats, trumpeter Sean Jones has been coming into his own since his well received debut, Eternal Journey (Mack Avenue Records, 2004). His trajectory has coursed through four previous releases, exploring, maturing, and progressing into one of today's shining voices with The Search Within.
Incorporating the fierceness of Freddie Hubbard and the smooth composure of Terence Blanchard, Jones possesses his own style that can deliver blistering notes or silky tones at the drop of a hat. But he is also a deft composer and ardent band leader, guiding a shining group of unsung and noted performers who give it their all throughout this polished work.
The title's theme is divided into three sections in the recording, a thought- provoking arc for Jones' flugelhorn clarion call. Within lies music that is intensely focused, introspective, yet contemporary and relevant, exhibiting a personal spectrum of the Jones experience. Examples include the breezy "Summer's Spring" featuring supple flute work by Erika von Kleist, "Transitions"'s killing bop exchanges, a romantic interlude in "Letter of Resignation" with alluring vocals by Carolyn Perteet (who first appeared on Kaleidoscope (Mack Avenue, 2007)), and the soulful urban glide of "Sunday Reflections" with its mellow head swaying and finger snapping melody.
Among the many memorable moments are the sweeping Latin tinged "Life Cycles"with excellent support from pianist Orrin Evans, percussionist Kahlil Bell, and the always recognizable harmonica of Gregoire Maret and the glow of "Love's Lullaby," where Jones' trumpet pours out heartfelt emotion.
The passing of the great Freddie Hubbard in December of 2008 was a humbling reminder of the continuum of life and music. But he has undoubtedly left a profound legacy with a plethora of fine young trumpeter's including Ambrose Akinmusire, Jeremy Pelt, Christian Scott, many others, and most certainly Sean Jones.
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).
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).