Jazz and Art

Jazz and Art

These are studio recordings of pieces premiered at JLCO concerts in early 2010, when seven featured composers each paid tribute to a different visual artist and drew vivid connections between creative disciplines. Some composers are core JLCO personnel or close associates, others are from farther afield: Bill Frisell’s two-part Winslow Homer homage does not in fact feature the iconic guitarist, and yet we hear his aesthetic clear as a bell, thanks in part to Andy Farber’s arranging. (Part two, the knotty “Homer’s Blues,” appears simply as “Winslow Homer” on Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers and Music IS albums.) Another guitarist, Doug Wamble, also does not appear, but he contributes the earthy and sprawling three-part opener titled for Stuart Davis.
JLCO trombonists Vincent Gardner and Chris Crenshaw tackle Sam Gilliam and Romare Bearden respectively, while JLCO altoist Sherman Irby concludes the program with “Twilight Sounds,” a playful, tempo-shifting evocation of Norman Lewis. Then there are the guests: Trombonist Papo Vazquez performs on his “Air, Earth, Fire, Water (Orisha Medley)” for painter Wifredo Lam, enlisting three batá drummers for the occasion, while tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost (not appearing) takes the measure of Piet Mondrian with “The Repose in All Things.” The band is in top form whether dipping into modern swing, gospel, or New Orleans and Afro-Caribbean roots. Dan Nimmer’s piano solos sparkle; Victor Goines’ bass clarinet on “Twilight Sounds” and tenor sax on “Bearden (The Block)” are simply magnificent.


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