Monday, January 24, 2011

Peter Hum - A Boy's Journey (Self-Released, 2010)

Keyboardist and composer Peter Hum leads a dual life as both a journalist and blogger and a jazz musician. His new album has a deep narrative sense, like a prose writer linking together a set of interconnected short stories. He is joined on this album by Kenji Omae on tenor saxophone, Nathan Cepelinski on alto and soprano saxophones, Alec Walkington on bass and Ted Warren on drums. All of the compositions are by the leader beginning with "Take the High Road" which has a sweet melody taken at a medium tempo. A couple of sections for saxophone with bass and drums and then saxophone with piano keep the music fresh and dynamic. Swinging around deeply entrenched bass, "New Toy" is fine straight ahead jazz with the the two saxophones harmonizing nicely. Hum switches to Fender Rhodes electric piano on "Big Lou" giving the music a lighter texture and with the addition of Cepelinski's soprano, the music has a Return to Forever feel. "Midway" is a slow, lush sounding ballad with the saxophones intertwining in a luxuriant manner. Electric piano builds back in on "Sojourner's Truth" over a stronger beat of splashy cymbals the rippling keyboards set the stage for a strong and powerful saxophone solo. The album concludes with a suite called "Three Wishes" that builds from an opening of spare bass and light piano to a strong full band improvisation featuring excellent saxophone playing. This was a very well done and enjoyable album of mainstream jazz. Hum and company investigate many different textures and moods of music and weave together a fine album in the process. Boy's Journey -

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