Skip to main content
Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Jordan VanHemert, multi-ring blower, usually on tenor, substitutes alto here (he also plays soprano, clarinet and flute), and appears as a sextet with, it has to be said, a line-up of exceptional class.

Our Korean-American saxophonist has already performed alongside Dmitri Matheny, Geri Allen and Rodney Whitaker, and this latest release marks his fifth album as leader.

From the outset, we’re treated to an edgy, hard-bop jazz style, with the leader’s speech very prolix. A vibrant performance that also perfectly suits the chosen saxophone, which he sometimes puts on unique display, notably in the ballad readings that take on a very lyrical interpretation (Everythings Changes, Everythings Stays The Same), a track on which we note the balanced and highly melodic presence of pianist Helen Sung, who is also featured on Autumn Song.

For the more upbeat tracks, there’s no need to underline the aforementioned excellence of Terell Stafford on trumpet (ST In The house) and Michael Dease on trombone (Hard Times), not to mention the assured cohesion of the ensemble, more than supported by the other two stars, Rodney Whitaker and Lewis Nash, on the dream rhythm section.

A hard-bop jazz recording in the genre’s academic vein, with choruses in which no one is reduced to the smallest part of the interpretation, each taking his share without encroaching on the other. In other words, this is an album of stars without stars.

A sound reminiscent of Blakey’s Messengers. A very compact sextet that nevertheless offers tracks where high-class individualities can move and be moved, and where, above all, technical virtuosity does not take precedence over the feel of the interpretation.

Brilliance, sparkle and punctuation are the key words of this album, to which we must also add melodicism and the intelligent spontaneity of harmonic interactions.

Line Up:

Jordan VanHemert – alto saxophone

Terell Stafford – trumpet

Michael Dease – trombone

Helen Sung – piano

Rodney Whitaker – doublebasse

Lewis Nash – drums

Deep in The Soil was released by the label Origin Records, on April 19, 2024.

©Photo Jordan VanHemert website

Translated with the help of

Leave a Reply