Thursday, January 18, 2024

Antoine Drye; Retreat To Beauty

It's a rare occasion when any jazz musician gets an opportunity to record with strings. But thankfully, that was the case with the haunting and beautiful trumpet of Antoine Drye and a luxurious pairing of supporting jazz players and subtle strings, all arranged to perfection. As the album title tells us, beauty is the object here and it's in full flower from note one. Among many highlights are these: 1) the slowest and most heartfelt reading of Billy Strayhorn's “Isfahan” I've ever heard; 2) a charming revisit to the Louis Armstrong hit “When It's Sleepy Time Down South”; 3) Jimmy Rowles now classic “The Peacocks”; 4) Monk's stunning ballad “Reflections”; 5) “Goodbye”, a ballad from decades ago from orchestra leader Gordon Jenkins; 6) Drye's own creation, “Friend”, named for a musical colleague; 7) a near tear jerker in “Send In The Clowns”; and 8) Laura, a tune with special meaning for me. On every one of these and a half dozen more, Antoine Drye and his numerous friends recall a time when recordings like this were somewhat frequent, if not plentiful. Antoine Drye is a trumpet master to keep an eye on. He could make a dozen albums like this and I'd welcome each and every one.

Cellar Music; 2023; appx. 52 min.

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