Hailing from Helsinki, Finland – composer/pianist Frank Carlberg provides the musical setting for Variations On A Summer Day
which is a collection of poems by Wallace Stevens. Vocalist Christine Correa is co-featured on this production along with a prominent assemblage of modern jazz all-stars consisting of saxophonists Chris Speed, Andrew D’ Angelo, drummer Kenny Wolleson and others.
Carlberg’s compositions are often richly thematic by design as the composer melds ambient textures with cyclic patterns, while the horns create understated tension atop a slightly wavering tempo, evident on the opener, titled “Introduction”. Throughout, vocalist Christine Correa translates the poetic text into airy lyricism while also employing a touch of scat vocalise on the composition, “A Music”. On this piece Carlberg embarks on an extended piano solo while utilizing space and depth to his advantage.
There is an abundance of strong well-stated soloing, enhanced by Correa’s whimsical vocals, kaleidoscopic horn charts and burgeoning underpinnings witnessed on “Shaken and Shaken” and elsewhere. “To Change Nature” is all about rollicking and rolling rhythms, a catchy hook and Correa’s outpouring of exuberant sentiment. And despite just a few lulls in the momentum and flow, Carlberg demonstrates laudable compositional skills, which could ultimately translate into a bright and productive future for this talented musician.
* * * ½ (out of * * * * *)