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 The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Blue Monday" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Monday
by James Nadal
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "Father Figure" CD/LP/Track Review Father Figure
by David A. Orthmann
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Lightyears" CD/LP/Track Review Lightyears
by Jim Olin
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Old Locks And Irregular Verbs" CD/LP/Track Review Old Locks And Irregular Verbs
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!