TRIOS…Jason Rigby: One, Vela: Wandering

Tenor saxist Jason Rigby boasts a big and beefy sound, not unlike vintage Rollins and Coltrane, and he uses it well in the trio format with Cameron Brown/b and Gerald Cleaver/dr. The team can go both free and intricate as the saxist delivers a thick tone on ”Dorian Gray” while Cleaver produces a busy undercurrent on the molten ”Newtoon.” He delivers a rich solo aria during the intro to “Embraceable You” and gets some “tarnish fire burning as he performs a 3 legged race with Brown on “Live By The Sword.” Breaking the mold, a duet with Cleaver has Rigby’s tenor thick as molasses on “Dive Bar,” and when switching to soprano, he floats over Brown’s lithe bass and Cleaver’s pulsating ride cymbal on Herbie Hancock’s “Speak Like a Child.” Muscle with a heart.

The trio Vela consists of cellist Aino Juutilainen along with pianist Esben Hojlund and drummer Anders Vestergaard for a mix of moods and tones. Juutilainen’s cello strums along with Hojlund’s dreamy piano on “Prelude,” leading into a cymbal groove for the eery “Lake.” High pitched bass work on the bow creates a dramatic “Branch” while spacious piano fingerings make up “Grannies & Seagulls.” Horn like calls create long shadows on the sunset of “Morgen” and the team gets melancholy for Hojlund’s contemplative piano on “Mirror.” Moonlight and sonatas.


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