The Here & Now

Break of Day

oa2 22047

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

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Built from Seattle's powerhouse high school jazz programs and refined in the East Coast conservatories, the Here and Now quintet combines a number of elements of their upbringing to form an excellent, cohesive debut album. From the high-end high school ensembles, the players appear to have picked up a sensitivity to the collective -- rather than showcasing their solo talents, they generally prefer to form a unified front: doubling melodic lines, accentuating one another's riffs, casually comping in the background to serve the greater purpose of the ensemble and the song. From the East Coast elements, there's a tendency toward the urban nightclub sound: sounds evocative of city traffic and smoky piano solos. From the Northwest elements, there's the constant focus on the melody, never dropping the form of the song in favor of a solo effect, never moving too far away from the core points of the composition, but ornamenting them just so. The players here all have skill with their instruments, but tend not to go too far with them. However, there are points of interest when they do. In the title track, sax player Ben Roseth lets loose with a solo on the alto that makes one wonder what the band was doing for the previous few tracks -- he runs arpeggios, he twinkles through some scales, and before he's done, he makes the horn squawk like the old jump blues players. In something of a tango, Roseth combines with trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt for a standout marching finale. In "BÍte Blanche," pianist Drew Pierson gets to show off a strong, if a bit uneven, solo that develops into strict comping well before its time is up. The quintet is a little rough around the edges still, trying to find a way to package their sounds and talents into a comprehensible form. They're not quite there yet, but what they've put together in this album is promising for future endeavors. Moreover, it's simply a nice listen as it stands.






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