A pair of new releases featuring Colorado-based trumpets once again showcases the prominence and ingenuity of our state’s creative artists.
East Coast musician and big bandleader David Sanford Dave Douglas (a visionary trumpet) has just released the mighty “A Prayer for Lester Bowie” on the Greenleaf Music label. Sanford’s elaborate arrangements help create one of the more catchy big-group albums of the year, and the music alternates between hoarse and intense. CU Associate Professor of Jazz Studies brad pulp Present in the brass section, and the companion area trumpet-academic Hugh Ragin is given
Well-deserved spotlight on key points in the album’s hour-plus runtime.
Ragin, who also performs as part of the Chicago Historical Art Ensemble, contributed to the album’s title composition, which pays tribute to Bowie, the original Art Ensemble trumpeter of choice. , who brought disgrace (and more) to that band. Ragin conducts the solo as well as his own piece, and it’s a deep, resonant listening experience. “Pray” gives a significant boost to 21st century big-band jazz.
During this, Joshua Trinidad, yet another thoughtful Colorado trumpeter, brings to us “Sleeping With My Vries” (subcontinental record). Unlike Sanford’s orchestral setting, this is just Trinidad banging his horn and interacting with his own minimalist electronics. It’s an introspective, brief journey that’s just as engaging as “Prayer,” but on a smaller scale.
Trinidad’s single the song Supernatural (or Fourth-Earthly, as he would have put it) calls to mind avant-gardeist John Hassell, who died this year. Trinidad is an artist worthy of your recognition, and you can listen to, and probably order a copy of, “Sleeping” here: https://subcontinentalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/sleeping-with-my-worries
John Coltrane It’s been 54 years, but somehow, music is still being released under her name at a much faster clip than Adele’s. Every annual search for lost recordings from saxophonists is worth a listen, and sometimes it turns out to be something to savor. Luckily “A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle” (Impulse!)
Recorded at The Penthouse in Washington on October 2, 1965, little was known about the existence of this tape. Considering the ensemble of time travel, the music sounds surprisingly lively. While Coltrane is at his official best on tenure, the other members of this classic quartet show their considerable strength. Bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Alvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner all in turn bring this music to fruition, which serves to remind us what a wonderful group this was, certainly one of the finest in all of jazz. One.
At 75 minutes, this version of the “A Love Supreme” suite is more than twice as long as the original studio version, and everyone gets to explore its possibilities in front of the club’s younger crowd. Bassist Donald Raphael Garrett and saxophonists Carlos Ward and Pharaoh Sanders expanded the group into a septet, and everyone with the exception of Sanders is now a ghost. I am grateful to be in the presence of this music.
More Jazz in November: The Vlad Girshevik The trio performs on Wednesdays, and the saxophonist Brianna Harris And his quartet shows up in Denver’s nocturnal Saturdays. … Denver saxophonist and teacher Keith Oxman Plays at the Denver Press Club on November 18. … in Dazzle, see Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra November 9 more Nelson Rangel 20 November.
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