WBGO Radar

Sean Jones: Im.Pro.Vise

trumpeter sean jones

Trumpeter Sean Jones describes his immersion in the world of jazz like this:

"I was a 19 year old student at Youngstown State University, driving in my car one day, when John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" came on the radio. I had to pull over. All at once, everything came together for me - my past, present, my future. I knew the course I needed to pursue."

That past would include picking the trumpet as his instrument, with a determination that earned him a Masters degree from Rutgers, a significant stint with The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, and side dates with Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Gerald Wilson and Marcus Miller. Jones would later join Miller, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter in a touring tribute to Miles Davis.

Along the way, Jones has documented his musical discoveries with six albums as leader, and now his seventh, "im.pro.vise - never before seen," as he says "a reintroduction of who I am."

This upcoming release opens with "60th & Broadway," which is a burning salute to his time with Jazz At Lincoln Center, and one of the six originals on the album.

Jones is joined by longtime bandmates Orrin Evans on piano, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Obed Calvaire for their first quartet record together.

"Dark Times," written while at Rutgers, shows Sean with a command of space and time, free floating trumpet with gorgeous tone depicting the lush darkness of the composition.

Written on the bandstand in the middle of a late night set, "I Don't Give A Damn Blues" has the quartet with a swingin' home walk I wish I was there to hear live.

There a couple of evergreens here too. "How High The Moon" swings to new heights, with the foursome taking the time and space for an impressive treatment of a tune that's been around the block many times.

Stephen Sondheim's "Not While I'm Around" shows just how beautiful patience can sound.

"im.pro.vise - never before seen" will pick you up and swing you hard. It also leaves many moments for you to climb inside the music and kick back.

I like what I see and hear from Sean Jones new release, which comes out July 22.

You can see and hear Jones for yourself in the present tense July 17 through 19, when the quartet plays live at Jazz Standard.

   - Gary Walker, WBGO music director

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