Are you serious?
We have Joshua Redman, Kenny Werner, and Lionel Loueke rounding out one of the most formidable 4tets and with the leader drummer Ferenc Nemeth and you have a real deal shot at album of the year.
For drummer Ferenc Nemeth, Triumph is a personal statement that represents hope for a future where individuals can maximize their potential and humanity can work together as a unified hope for the future. While we may see versions of this concept over and over between now and the election, Nemeth eloquently continues to add that Triumph is a representation of personal life experiences and their dramatic impact on his life be they good times or bad. Triumph is about willingness to endure the good times and bad while in search of those celebratory moments that make life worth living. A personal yet accessible meaning and understanding of the simple joy of being and in this case it would be with music acting as the centerpiece. Nemeth sets an immaculate table!
From a purely conceptual perspective the release was constructed in the relative same form and functionality as that of the more traditional classical symphony and over an extended period of time. Nemeth had to feel the emotional tug of inspiration to create these works and the deep feelings and connectivity to the human spirit they represent. The title track "Triumph" is a tune built around layered texture and rhythmic dynamics that reinforce the traditional call and response and the ability to play off and continue each members lyrical direction. "Purpose" is an aptly named tune that plays runs off the buoyant energy of drummer Nemeth and is a tremendous example of the ability to create an emotion centered around the dynamic tension as the ensemble works on that harmonic high wire moving carefully in and around bop, free-bop and the more conventional form of what would be considered the mainstream norm. "Joy" is a sonic exploratory allowing Lionel Loueke to vocally double his single note lines adding what I like to refer to as that three dimensional sonic depth of field. Deceptively subtle nuances are interwoven with the complex rhythmic patterns set forth by Nemeth and Loueke's guitar work provides the perfect counterpoint. " Sorrow And Wishful Thinking" borders some where between the somber and the melancholy. As an introspective piece "Sorrow And Wishful Thinking" is a wash in a sea of African rhythms and micro-tonal interludes which again recreate a dynamic tension or organic pulse that is perhaps to be reminiscent of what is occurring in our everyday lives.
Triumph is indeed an artistic triumph and perhaps a critics worst nightmare as it deftly defies genre. A jazz record that was written in the style of a classical symphony with global or world music overtones at all most every twist and turn of this most evocative sonic adventure. This is not a recording in the traditional sense of the word but an experience to be savored. Redman and Werner work together as though they have been connected at the hip for twenty years. Loueke and guest vocalist Barbara Togander add texture and depth while drummer Nemeth owns the pocket as he creates one of the finest examples of lyrical drumming one may hear.
Much like life, it is not the destination but instead the journey and Ferenc Nemeth has created a journey for the ages. An epic work!
Tracks: Intro; Triumph; Interlude I; Purpose; Interlude II; Joy; Interlude III; Longing; Hope; Interlude IV; Sorrow And Wishful Thinking; Hope II.
Personnel: Joshua Redman; tenor saxophone and soprano saxophone; Kenny Werner: piano and rhodes; Lionel Loueke: guitar and voice; Ferenc Nemeth: drums and percussion.