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It is quite insouciant to categorize jazz musicians as either composers or players. But jazz devotees sometimes typecast artists as writers or interpreters of music. With a mature talent such as composer/saxophonist Andrew Rathbun, categorizing him in one camp or the other is unwarranted.
With Where We Are Now, his tenth disc as leader, he displays his growing maturity as a player and more of his acclaimed talents as composer/arranger.
Like his last few discs, he sets aside his taste for poetry and vocalists to center the session on the music. That's not to say his writing isn't chock-full of versification. His "Son Suite" in four parts, written (of course) for his child, is a cohesive 26-minutes of music, showcasing both the writing and soloing. The mysterious opening gives way to a joyous music, Rathbun switching between the soprano and tenor saxophones to alter the mood. By the fourth section, bassist Johannes Weidenmuller's bowing is followed by a mallet solo from master percussionist Billy Hart's that reads like a fine verse.
As for the remainder of the tracks, Rathbun sequences some passionate playing on "Lament," and a bit more introspective fair on "A Stern." The latter composition features Rathbun's considerate soprano saxophone driven (always driven) by Hart. The vigorous "Lament" allows the players to stretch out, signaling the opportunity for guitarist Nate Radley to lay down some simple clean lines in response to Rathbun's plush tenor. Pianist George Colligan, a regular companion of Rathbun's, supplies the steady accompaniment here. His solo on the closing "No Longer" follows a concise tenor statement from the leader, and begins with one hand before graduating to a two-handed speed solo.
The music of Andrew Rathbun draws into the composition, but requires you to stay for the performance.
Track Listing: Son Suite I; Son Suite II; Son Suite III; Son Suite IV; Film Under Glass: A Stern; Wheel; Lament; No Longer.
Personnel: Andrew Rathbun: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Nate Radley: guitar; George Colligan: piano; Johannes Weidenmuller: bass; Billy Hart: drums.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com