With Turn The Sea, Natalie Cressman announces her presence with authority and takes her rightful place as a rising star in the world of improvisational music.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
At the age of 20, Natalie Cressman is legitimate jazz triple threat as an instrumentalist, composer and vocalist. Where this goes slightly off track is that as a vocalist, Natalie Cressman has the skills to achieve potential crossover fame and fortune as a more contemporary vocalist flirting with an eclectic pop vibe. Think Lisa Loeb meets Jules Day. Don't know them? Look 'em up! As an instrumentalist Cressman can more than hold her own with any of the Big Apple based trombonists and her compositions are dynamic and readily accessible to a wide audience.
Turn The Sea builds on the foundation laid down with the critically acclaimed debut release, Unfolding. Musical barriers are deftly shattered as a more organic indie rock sound is somehow merged with a deceptively subtle modern jazz interpretation. While the sound here is vibrant, fresh and creatively forward thinking, critics and other pundits may be left scratching their heads. This is good. Improvisational music has remained static, a medium that insists on getting in it's own way. Natalie Cressman is indeed the new savior of archaic pop having gained considerable mileage performing with such luminaries as Wycliffe Gordon and Trey Anastasio. "New Moon" leaps from the release as the retro groove of the Rhodes merges with West African rhythms for a sound that is uniquely Natalie Cressman. Her own less is more riff on the Bon Iver tune "Blindsided" is but another one of the highlights that transform Turn The Sea to a potential new level of improvisational creativity that others have tried but have fallen terribly short by comparison.
The band is first rate. The tunes are wildly inventive with perhaps another talent creeping into Cressman's arsenal as her production skills seem to capture the genre bending sound that permeates Turn The Sea.
Unfolding was incredibly good. Turn The Sea is better!
Tracks: Turn The Sea; Fortune's Fool; Blindsided; New Moon; Do Not As I Do; Checkout Time; Winter Chill; Stolen Away; Turn The Sea (Jnthn Stein Remix).
Personnel: Natalie Cressman: Trombone, Vocals; Ivan Rosenberg: Trumpet; Steve Lugerner: Flute Clarinet; Bass Clarinet; James Casey: Tenor Saxophone; Samora Pinderhuges: Keys; Gabe Schnider: Guitar; Jonathan Stein: Acoustic and Electric Bass; Michael Mitchell: Drums and Percussion; Matt Gasch, Alexander Lewis, Natalie Cressman: Claps