LIVE at the Freight by Jessica Jones | Mark Taylor –Mp3– [New Artists Records, 2012 | Review] –
In recent years I’ve been afforded numerous opportunities to hear music by revered and unfamiliar artists alike. On this occasion, I’m delighted to experience new music by critically acclaimed duo tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones and multi-faceted French-horn-(ist) Mark Taylor. Consequently, with this offering they’ve drawn from a collage of intricate jazz harmonics, abstract rhythms and improvised music on their latest endeavor titled “LIVE at the FREIGHT” recorded in July, 2011 at the legendary Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, California.
For well over a decade the visionary composer and tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones has anchored her soul, talent and energy into performing live and recorded albums with her preeminent quartet. Her musical platform resides comfortably in the voicings of progressive jazz originals composed by her and husband Tony Jones. The music on this project and many others is guided by variable influences of traditional jazz, bop and improvisational voicing’s by esteemed artists like Mingus, Coleman and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
“Live at the Freight” encompasses nine beautifully composed, arranged and impressively played compositions underscored by the featured duo plus support by the incomparable John Shifflet on bass and drummer Jason Lewis. The quartet opens with a Mark Taylor piece titled “Furious George,” in unison they explore the simplicity of open-end expressions, bulging shades and augmented melodies penetrate through the unheralded tonality validated by Jones and Taylor. Conjointly, this quartet swings with impassioned execution that’s undoubtedly rhythmic, complex and engaging interplay is a real crowd pleaser.
At the third spot, Mark Taylor pens the intrepid “By the Park at Midnight,” artistically this piece captures the essence of their uncompromising voices entwined with cleverly arranged grooves, shapes and unmatched symmetry that’s syncopated with fervent interplay and understanding the language of improvisation by the Quartet will leave you speechless.
With each song, the coherent details are prevalent and innumerable patterns explored by the band is easily digestible considering the lyrical and melodic complexity involved. Taylor’s entrancing solo on the French-horn at the beginning of “The Zamindar Gambit” sounds like a hip version of a Harry Potter soundtrack bathed in the spoils of jazz and improvised music is very attractive and satisfying.
Acoustic bassist John Shifflet reveals his unending swagger on the vivacious and piquant nuances ingrained in “Waynoplis.” Perhaps this gem is one of favorites thus far, or maybe because the groove is timeless, snappy and iridescent banquet of tones allow these musicians to stretch impulsively and unravel sumptuous traces of funk from the center to the edge of this unbending vibe.
Live recordings aren’t generally my forte, however it’s albums like this one that reminds me even in this context it’s great to hear new music played with unsurpassed passion regardless if it’s live or studio. Jones and the band frequently plays at various venues throughout New York City, so it’s fitting at this point for her to pay homage in song with the swing induced “Manhattan” scored by Mark Taylor.
Jessica is an impressive tenor player, with these compositions customized to fit her style echoes the giants of traditional jazz. They’re amplified with impeccable detail by her throughout this engagement. The shifting and luminous tones are carved with surprising impressions are etched into canvas of “What Purpose is Your Pain.” Meanwhile with this same intonation Jones paints these melodious notes with definitive and immeasurable prowess on the closer “Breath.Eyes.”
At first, I was a little apprehensive, but now I’m enchanted of having the opportunity to finally hear these inspiring new voices (to me that is) Jessica Jones and Mark Taylor. In reality we shouldn’t covet anyone or thing, but in this case I’m somewhat envious of the audience at the Freight and Coffeehouse on that surreal evening back in 2011. Undoubtedly, this journey is a rare treat to hear live jazz of this magnitude. As a result, they sit comfortably in this cozy setting in amazement while absorbing this matchless foray of unrivaled artistry personalize through the voice of unbridled jazz and improvised music at its very, very best.
Recommended by Rob Young | Urban Flux Media | Review
Check out Vampire’s Redemption by Jones, Taylor and the band!
Meet the Musicians:
Jessica Jones – tenor saxophone
Mark Taylor – French horn, mellophone
John Shifflet – bass
Jason Lewis – drums
1) Furious George
2) Waiting for the Vampire’s Redemption
3) By the Park at Midnight
4) The Zamindar Gambit
7) Sketch #2
8) What Purpose is Your Pain
[Total Time: 72:52]
Produced by Mark Taylor