As music lovers, we often complain about not having the perfect combination of artistic value which encompasses the details of improvised solos, vivacious melodies and grueling rhythmic structure. Well my beloved jazz enthusiasts, I beg to differ. 2009 was indeed a very rewarding year musically. Case in point, saxophonist Justin Vasquez’s record “Triptych,” is one of many reasons to celebrate the wealth of music by artists of his stature that’s currently recording tangible music. “Triptych,” by definition is a “picture, or a craving in three panels side by side.” The music expressions by Vasquez are definitive in nature, this vast portrait of compassion is painted with various colors, textures and improvised nuances appealing to those seeking a unique yet provocative sound driven with the prowess of lush arrangements that are artfully executed by Vasquez. ~ Rob Young
Justin Vasquez | Triptych – [Justin Vasquez, 2009]In a word, blindsided. I put this disc on with expectations of mediocrity. I figured maybe one or two tracks would be listenable. I could not have been more wrong.
Vasquez’s alto sound is reminiscent of Kenny Garrett, but his ideas are very individual and refreshing. It’s the kind of sound I have been looking for on my alto. His soprano sound is great too. Rogers’ guitar playing reminds me of some of my favorite Pat Metheny solos. Really great work by the rest of the band as well.
Now on to the composing. Vasquez’s originals are just great. “Triptych” and “Nimbus” are very dense and harmonically interesting, while “Fields” is reminiscent of the best Metheny/Mays compositions. His rendition of Bronislaw Kaper’s “Invitation” and Washington/Young’s “Stella by Starlight” are amazing reinterpretations of jazz classics.
I’m very excited for what comes next for Vasquez, but for now, “Triptych” will enjoy a very long residence at the top of my list of favorite albums. —Matthew Lanka / Amazon.com
..:: Source: Notes on Jazz ::..