222

Sarah Wilson: Trapeze Project

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Sarah Wilson: Trapeze Project San Francisco-based trumpeter/vocalist Sarah Wilson is gifted with idiosyncratic and fresh composing skills that are so rare in jazz musicians who have gone through the formal avenues of jazz education. Her career began when she composed and played music for the Bread and Puppet Theater troupe; continued by studying with esteemed trumpeters John McNeil and Laurie Frink; absorbed the complex musical languages of Henry Threadgill and Steve Coleman; and gained experience in New York's flourishing Downtown scene. After her mother died, she began to write songs and sing.

This long and winding road brings together all the disparate elements of her career to this, her second album. It is an arresting set of beautiful compositions and songs that sound cerebral, made of far-flung resources, but at the same time sounding very melodic and organic, with a strong emotional appeal. Wilson swings naturally between genres and styles, blurring any stylistic boundaries with confidence and charm. Trapeze Project reflects her return to the California, as she enlists an all-star quintet.

The album moves between changing moods and colors. It begins with a joyful, swinging "Blessing," dedicated to the musicians who played at legendary Blackhawk jazz club. The following slow and sad "She Stands in a Room," inspired by a glass sculpture by Nicolas Africano, features the quintet's tight interplay. The energetic "At Zebulon" features pianist Myra Melford, setting the driving pulse, while Wilson and clarinetist Ben Goldberg improvise above it. Her gentle, fragile singing on "Melancholy for Place" is reminiscent of Robin Holcomb, as both reference old-time, Americana songs.

The lyrical "Himalayas" is dedicated to drummer Kenny Wollesen's avant-brass band, for which Wilson composed music, and is structured around Jerome Harris's pensive bass line. Drummer Scott Amendola leads "In Resonance Light Take Place," based on a Pablo Neruda poem, and as this composition gains momentum, all members of the quintet add layers to the imaginative pulse. Wilson's restrained reading of Joy Division's Ian Curtis composition "Love Will Tear Us Apart," is a spare arrangement of this classic song, radiating a profound and humble understanding of complex relationships.

The fiery "Underneath the Soil" returns to a more optimistic course, but the most beautiful composition is the dramatic "Fall has Arrived," based on a Persian folk song, that begins with Goldberg's masterful solo, with all the players slowly joining and carefully adding their touches to this arresting melody. Wilson concludes this beautiful album with another gentle song, "From the River," and a heartfelt, modern marching blues, "To New Orleans," that captures her feelings after leaving New York, and the grave impacts of Katrina on her brother, a resident of New Orleans.


Track Listing: Blessing; She Stands in a Room; At Zebulon; Melancholy for Place; Himalayas; In Resonance Light Takes Place; Love Will Tear Us Apart; Underneath the Soil; Fall Has Arrived; Possibility; From the River; To New Orleans.

Personnel: Sarah Wilson: trumpet, vocals; Myra Melford: piano; Ben Goldberg: clarinet; Jerome Harris: bass; Scott Amendola: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Brass Tonic | Style: Modern Jazz


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 "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "And to the Republic" CD/LP/Track Review And to the Republic
by Mark F. Turner
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Roma-Rio" CD/LP/Track Review Roma-Rio
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Behind the Vibration" CD/LP/Track Review Behind the Vibration
by Mark F. Turner
Published: May 29, 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!