One of the more pleasant listening experiences this year has been Twin Talk from the eponymous Indie group based in Chicago. The jazz trio of drummer Andrew Green, saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi and bassist/vocalist Katie Ernst produce a project of fresh music and through original material and inventive performances.
Having worked together over the past few years Twin Talk executes on a subconscious level. Whether digging deep into the pocket in "J.J." or the traversing multihued designs in "Colorwheel" the trio's presence is sinewy and vigorous embodying a sense of urgency that's heard in each player's respective instrument.
The anchor is Ernst's muscular basswoody, reverberating and emotive in the pensive ballad "Martha" and the rocking groove sway of "Teddy." The spark is consistently provided by Green's fiery drum rhythms flowing in and out of the pocket with crisp cymbals, delicate brushes and snappy beats.
The trio's voice is conveyed through Laurenzi's warm saxophone through whispers, snarls, and croons within the compositional changes. His voice ranges from coarse to melodious as he moves artfully from cool restraint to complete improvised abandon in "One Foot in Front of the Other" which also features supple voice lines from Ernst.
Two tracks reveal Ernst's dual threat of playing bass and singing. "Hush, Hush" is like sunbeams piercing clouds whereas the lyrics in "Living Room" convey an introspective story of a complicated personal relationship. Both contrast the singer's skillful voice and outstanding bass worka funky riff during the former track and stirring bowing strings in the latter.
Chicago has long been a bedrock of improvised music and Twin Talk represents a microcosm of that strength in today's environment.
Colorwheel; J.J.; Martha; Teddy; Hush, Hush; Shorty; One Foot in Front of the Other; Rupert; Eleven; Living Room; Like Bells.
Andrew Green: drums; Dustin Laurenzi: saxophone; Katie Ernst: bass, voice.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.