Sean Jones goes back to the future with a stellar new recording, Im*pro*vise!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The modern recording artist has more technological crutches than one can imagine to insure that ever elusive "perfect" recording. Sean Jones steps outside the comfort zone of overdubs to embrace the improvisational essence of his artistic evolution. Joined by longtime musical co-conspirators pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Obed Calvaire, we find Sean Jones exploring both originals and dynamic contributions from Orrin Evans, Joe Ford, and the legendary Stephen Sondheim.
This formidable 4tet recorded in the same room with a resulting sense of warmth and intimacy oddly reminiscent of something one might find in the Blue Note vault. The traditional formats are tossed aside for the creative immediacy of spontaneous lyrical combustion. "Dark Times" is an older original crafted while Jones was pursuing his Masters and the ambient melodic exploratory embraces the Miles Davis philosophy that focuses on the notes not played. "I Don't Give A Damn Blues" pushes that last call vibe of a jazz club where the music is all that matters. The striking aspect of this recording is that Sean Jones assumes a more noticeable role as leader with the band feeding off whatever direction Jones decides to travel. Orrin Evans makes a significant contribution with the syncopated snap of "Don't Fall Off The L.E.J." The Evans tune is a straight forward smoker that plays well again the most inventive reharm of "How High The Moon."
This is Sean Jones "unplugged" with his harmonic soul laid bare and assuming a new mantle of authority as both a band leader and soloist. A tremendous roll of the dice pays off well with Sean Jones releasing the finest recording of his career. Sean Jones stepped down as lead trumpeter of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in 2010, their loss. The natural evolution of an artist is an amazing if not rare occurrence, Sean Jones makes it look easy.
Tracks: 60th & Broadway; Dark Times; Interior Motive; The Morning After; I.D.G.A.D. Blues; Dr. Jekyll; How High The Moon; We'll Meet Under The Stars; New Journey; Don't Fall Off The L.E.J; Not While I'm Around.
Personnel: Sean Jones: Trumpet; Orrin Evans: Piano; Luques Curtis: Bass; Obed Calvaire: Drums.