Title - A Centering Peace
Artist - Brian Woodruff Sextet
For those unaware, A Centering Peace is the third release from the Brian Woodruff Sextet (as a leader), following 2018s The Ing with the OKB Trio.
The recording presents nine new compositions composed and arranged for the sextet, which features Michael Rodriguez on trumpet, Lisa Parrott on soprano and alto saxophone, Alan Ferber on trombone, Pete McCann on guitar, and Matt Clohesy on bass. Guest vocalist Elisabeth Lohninger also joins the group on three tracks.
Brian Woodruff (drummer/composer) has performed with Takaaki Otomo, Jeff Newells New-Trad Octet, Eric Lewis, Jacob Varmus, Adam Hutcheson, Lee Tomboulian, Vicki Burns, Bobby Watson, Don Byron, Marian McPartland, Gary Versace, James Spaulding, Robin Eubanks, Jimmy Heath, Harvie S, Genes and Jazz, Iris Ornig, Hyungjin Choi, Ledisi, Melba Moore, and on the Today Show.
He has been the house drummer for Unity of New York for 20 years. Woodruff studied jazz and classical percussion at the University of Connecticut and got a Masters Degree in Jazz and Commercial Music from Manhattan School of Music.
Brian is also a founding member of the Queens Jazz OverGround and currently serves as its Executive Director.
1. The Welcome Song (4:06)
2. What Happened (7:09)
3. A Centering Peace (6:30)
4. War Paint (5:05)
5. Pirouette en Dedans (6:24)
6. Every Detail Minding (6:10)
7. Undertow (5:56)
8. Freeway Doctor East (5:04)
9. King Size Blues (9:11)
Featuring guest vocalist Elisabeth Lohninger and some collective improvisation from the ensemble, this quite breathtakingly ambient album opens on the luxuriant The Welcome Song, and backs that up with the upbeat and perky What Happened (based on the chord changes of I Got Rhythm), the stirring title track (once again featuring Lohninger on vocals atop an alto sax back line from Lisa Parrot) A Centering Peace (written to celebrate the 75th birthday of Monsignor Edward Straub and to commemorate his 50th Anniversary in the priesthood), and then we get the foot-tapping, Pete McCann guitar rocking euphoria of War Paint.
The delicate Pirouette en Dedans (which translates to English as a dancer spinning on one foot with the body turning inward) is up next and that is followed by mid-tempo hipsway of Every Detail Minding (a title culled from Woodruffs failed attempt to set Langston Hughes poem Old Walt to music; settling on his favorite phrase from the poem as the title instead), and then we get the gently existential, guitar rock imbued Undertow, with the album rounding out on an up-tempo modal tune Freeway Doctor East (whose title pokes fun at the inability of a GPS system to cope with the abbreviation for Drive), closing on the King Size Blues - a vocal track, again with Lohninger front and center, that recalls Ellington and Basie, but with a few twists.
Players & Instruments:
Michael Rodriguez, trumpet
Lisa Parrott, alto and soprano saxophone
Alan Ferber, trombone
Pete McCann, guitar
Matt Clohesy, bass
Brian Woodruff, drums
Elisabeth Lohninger, guest vocalist (Track 1, 3, and 9)
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