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Renee Rosnes - Written In The Rocks (2016)
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Renee Rosnes - Written In The Rocks (2016)

10-02-2016, 22:46

Title: Written In The Rocks
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: Smoke Sessions Records
Genre: Jazz: Piano Jazz
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 56:51
Total Size: 132 MB

1. The KT Boundary (4:50)
2. Galapagos (7:12)
3. So Simple A Beginning (6:14)
4. Lucy From Afar (6:35)
5. Written In The Rocks (5:12)
6. Deep In The Blue (Tiktaalik) (7:33)
7. Cambrian Explosion (5:24)
8. From Here To A Star (8:04)
9. Goodbye Mumbai (5:43)

Why don’t we hear about jazz pianist and composer Renee Rosnes more? She’s just as good, if not better, than most of her male counterparts. Her February 5, 2016 album,Written In The Rocks, on Smoke Sessions Records puts her up there as one of the most in-flux, fluid, fantastic artists around.

Everything on this new record seems to rush at you, in a hurry, with some urgency, but rounded out with a fleshy magic. Her quartet is scheduled to debut Written In The Rocks at a CD release celebration February 5-7 of next year in three sets at New York City’s Smoke Jazz & Supper Club.

This is no ordinary release, built on the whims and aspirations of a jazz artist in flux. The Canadian expat found inspiration in nature, building seven of the nine compositions to “The Galapagos Suite.”

Nature has always played a major role in Rosnes’ life growing up in beautiful British Columbia. “The infinite blue-green hues of coastal British Columbia are in my blood,” she explained in a recent DL Media press release. “My family's home sat at the bottom of a street that opened up into a deep ravine, and a half-hour's drive from there, the city lights were dim enough to offer an astonishing view of the night sky. Salty air, the smell of seaweed, the relentless pounding of waves, and the agreeable aroma of cedar — all of these provide me with spiritual nourishment and inspiration. To compose music about our planet's evolution was a stimulating concept and one brimming with possibilities.”

With Rosnes on this natural journey are her bandmates: Steve Wilson (sax, flute), Steve Nelson (vibes), Peter Washington (bass), and Bill Stewart (drums). “All of us have personal and musical relationships that have been growing for decades,” Rosnes continued. “As a band, we've developed a focused sound with a wide and nuanced palette of colors and rhythms. We play off of each other.”

Her bandmates play no small role on her album. That’s Nelson’s vibes all over the place on “Lucy From Afar,” touching on the intriguing discovery of humankind’s ancestor amongst the ruins of civilization. In the opening, “The KT Boundary,” her entire band joins in, notably drummer Stewart with Wilson on flute and soprano sax. Together, they posit the possibilities of new life from the end of the dinosaurs in a kind of mass, avant-garde hysteria that never quite takes leave of its senses.

On the title track, Nelson’s vibes gently make way for Rosnes, as she displays the kind of tranquil feminine touch missing in a lot of the slam, bang macho posturing found amongst the Millennial boys’ club nowadays. Yet, there’s the still life of a Bill Evans, a man who knew how to tap into his softer side for a melodic drowning, the fervor of the dying’s last wish. She contemplates the wonder, the history, the secrets beneath those age-old rocks, gently tapping at the grains of arctic sands, every note a forestry, a surging series of waves.

Outside “The Galapagos Suite,” Renee Rosnes and her band find common ground in the solid, straight-ahead jazz contemplation, “From Here To A Star,” and the hopefully nostalgic “Goodbye Mumbai.” ~Carol Banks Weber

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