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Canadian saxophonist/composer Andrew Rathbun’s True Stories is a testament to fellow Canadian, poet Margaret Atwood’s lesser known works such as “True Stores” and “Bluejays”. For his third release, the artist demonstrates a keen and convincingly fresh compositional jazz-based approach. Vocalist Luciana Souza lends her warm, softly stated lyricism to several of these pieces amid blended horns, bustling yet often streamlined rhythmic developments and heartfelt choruses by Rathbun, trumpeter Taylor Haskins and pianist George Colligan.
“True Stories Part I” features Ms. Souza’s wistful vocals in concurrence with an undeniably appealing melody as the band expounds upon and effectively reworks the primary theme on “True Stories Parts II-III” via shifty arrangements and a few unexpected twists and turns tossed into the mix. Basically, Rathbun shines as a modern jazz-style troubadour besides possessing strong chops as a saxophonist. However, this newly released recording is marked by a continuous flow brimming with probing lines, hearty soloing and fluid rhythmic developments from bassist John Herbert and drummer Jeff Hirshfield. A compelling and altogether noteworthy effort it is! Recommended.
Track Listing: Vignette I, True Stories Parts I-III, Vignette II, Another Aspect, Cards, Bluejays, Majority, She Who Chose (The Lies That Daylight Told Us), Vignette III
Personnel: Andrew Rathbun; reeds: Luciana Souza; voice: Taylor Haskins; trumpet: George Colligan; piano, Fender Rhodes: John Herbert; bass: Jeff Hirshfield; drums
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.