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If you are a serious, hard working musician with a keen ear for composition and possess some technical gifts you should reap the benefits of maturation, rapid growth and the ability to expand your musical and intellectual horizons! That and performing with modern jazz luminaries such as Cecil Taylor, William Parker and Anthony Braxton will most assuredly advance your knowledge and overall scope of the music that you study, perform and hold close to your heart! A case in point may be attributed to someone like soprano saxophonist/composer Chris Jonas which is most evident on his new release, titled – The Sun Spits Cherries. Recorded at the “Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn, NY, Jonas’ seemingly unorthodox vision of composing for two trombonists (Chris Washburne & Joe Fielder), himself on soprano sax and percussionist Andrew Barker comes to fruition in striking fashion! Don’t be fooled by the odd instrumentation. Jonas’ opus is splintered off into 9 separate pieces that intertwine, converge, disconnect and utilize space as a vehicle to state and redevelop themes while many of these compositions are comprised of succinctly cultivated choruses and multicolored passages. The dual trombones often imply meter as Andrew Barker not only contrasts the often wavering pulse yet augments Washburne and Fiedler’s sophisticated unison lines with fleeting utilization of percussion instruments and cymbals. Jonas frequently improvises over brief fragmented motifs, which, at times are akin to marching band arrangements complete with odd-metered shifts in tempo while also affording the trombonists ample room to breathe and stretch. An absorbing framework that sustains interest throughout the entire 53 minutes of the recording, the gist of the material revolves around delicate and punctual interplay via either relatively simple or complex motifs. Yet there are a fair share of twists, turns, crossroads and interludes such as Andrew Barker’s powerful and smartly constructed drumming/percussion s
Simply put, Chris Jonas’ The Sun Spits Cherries is a remarkably inventive and most appealing musical statement while garnering a perfect 10 for compositional ingenuity as kudos are in order for Washburne, Fiedler and Barker, who help make it all work – in a big way! Highly Recommended! * * * * *
Chris Jonas; Soprano Saxophone; Joe Fiedler; Tenor Trombone: Chris Washburne; Bass Trombone; Andrew Barker; Percussion
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.