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Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Altin Sencalar, a trombonist in his own right, presents his latest production as the leader of a brassy nonet made up of some of the young wolves of US jazz, and leads his group in an energetic farandole with a very neo-hard bop accent.

The more-than-nimble slide is answered by saxophone choruses, all four registers are represented, and the sharp playing of a young trumpeter, Anthony Hervey, who Wynton Marsalis calls “first-rate”. Keen to live up to the legacy of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, Sencalar has already blown with Rodney Whitaker, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian Mc Bride, Ulysses Owens Jr and others, and is a member of the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars Big Band, the latter collaboration being a must for a blower’s calling card.

Between an intro version of Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage and a finale reading of Harry Warren’s You’re My Everything, the recording features the leader’s own compositions, on which we can also appreciate his arranging skills, resulting in racy, high-flying jazz in the interventions.

The laid-back, overhanging voice of the trombone (The Sunday After), a blend of groove and feeling, lends a soul to this record, which also features a number of individualists who bolster the discourse with bold punctuations (Pacing) or solitary flights of fancy, like Michael Dease‘s baritone on It’s Easy.

The rhythm section, augmented by a percussionist, is not to be outdone, led by pianist Art Hirahara, whose many collaborations and reputation in this musical field are well established, and who adds his highly melodic touch to this recording.

Straddling the line between combo and big-band machine, Sencalar‘s nonet gives full rein to its communicative spontaneity, without neglecting plaintive whispers in the more subdued tempi, as on You’re My Everything played in bluesy ballad mode.

Altin Sencalar and his “Discover the Present” deserve the title of contemporary bop masterclass. These are musicians we’ve already heard, and we’ll have to keep following them with the assurance of a job well done. In any case, a very successful assembly.

line Up:

Altin Sencalar – trombone
Diego Rivera – tenor saxophone
Markus Howell – alto saxophone ; soprano saxophone
Anthony Hervey – trumpet
Michael Dease – baryton saxophone
Art Hirahara – piano
Raul Reyes Bueno – doublebass
Rudy Royston – drums
Pete Rodríguez – congas and percussions

Discover The Present  was released by the  label Posi-tone Records, on March 19, 2024.

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