Saturday, February 9, 2008

Better Music: Brandon Turchiano

I hadn't planned to post today; you guys are probably getting tired of the tylenol-counting. Yesterday evening when we finally headed out to get the mail, there was a BIG surprise for me!

Brandon Turchiano
A little over a week ago Lyman mentioned a recording he'd done the with a friend (Turchiano) and cd release party he was gearing up for. Since I'm always wanting to hear what Lyman is playing I listened to Turchiano's offerings up on his MySpace page and decided it was worth the modest price and ordered the disc. And am I ever glad that I did!

This cd is already one of my favorite jazz/everything else discs in a while. There's just a lot of excitement, the songs are strongly melodic and fun: the keyboard work is such a blend of styles it really drew me in right away to check out all all the songs' underpinnings, hoping for more. Trumpeter Fred Fiedler sounds great and both drummers keep the beat going strong without overshadowing the others' work; lots of really nice flourishes that never ring out too loud or too long. Good drumming, nice mixing. I find myself with several drummer friends these days so I'm struggling with my lexicon here; these brief comments reflect only that...they sound great and keep the heads bobbin'.

Mr. Turchiano's trombone comes as a great surprise to me. I love trombones, for sure, I'm a horn-loving kind of girl, but I've not come across many trombonists who could pull off the lead role and be relevant these days. I think this must the be single greatest revelation of this cd. I love these tracks full of his horn; nice articulation, he's able to manipulate the quality of his tone, alternately growly to crisp, or the classic mellow, sweeeet trombone tone I love so much.

Lyman plays both upright and electric bass on these tracks. I haven't heard Lyman play electric in a long time and I.DIG.IT. When I heard he was playing electric more and more, I was kinda bummed because he's so great on the upright, and its just so cool to play upright, but not after hearing him here. Its obviously something he should do more of. Lyman coyly said (on his blog), "I'm really proud of my work on the album"...rightly so; he contributes a great deal to these tunes and adds a nice credit to his resume.

The songs themselves are funky affairs that will stay in your'll find yourself bobbing your head and tapping toes, your kids shakin' their little booties and asking to "play that one again!". I don't see it written anywhere in the liner notes so I assume Turchiano wrote all of these; another great accomplishment for him. For a girl who misses her Tower of Power and plenty of other horn-intense R&B that's grown into a jazz fan, I can't imagine another new artist getting it so right the first time out.

This is going to be one of those discs that I buy for everyone I know.

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