Bar code: 8427328424646
"Il titolo del CD allude emblematicamente alla pratica strumentale messa in atto da questo splendido quartetto, dalla condotta armonica estremamente raffinata. Lo testimoniano i due brani-manifesto del progetto, fra intelligenza melodica e sobrietà del fraseggio solistico. Nel solco di una pratica ampiamente diffusa nel jazz sin dagli anni '30, il trombettista statunitense agisce creativamente sugli standard mediante sostituzioni armoniche.
"What Do You Hear" e "Chant," altro non sono che una avventurosa esplorazione di "I Hear a Rhapsody" e "How Deep Is the Ocean." Su tali standard è stato operato un processo di risignificazione musicale che investe la sostituzione degli accordi del chorus, o motivo di base. Tale attitudine al rischio si spinge oltre nelle due improvvisazione estemporanee di "Rest/Peace" e "Hart of the Matter" all'insegna della libera aleatorietà delle forme.
Tutte le tracce si distinguono per l'intrinseca ricercatezza timbrico-melodica, unitamente al lirismo infuso dalla tromba del leader. Intorno a lui gli altri splendidi musicisti coinvolti nel progetto si relazionano empaticamente con grande versatilità. La poetica rivisitazione di "Mark Time," splendido tema di Kenny Werner, è un piccolo gioiello di pathos, buon gusto e straordinaria musicalità."
Maurizio Zerbo (October 15, 2015
-All About Jazz · Italian Edition
"Plush-toned trumpeter John Raymonds strong second album, released this spring, is titled Foreign Territory (Fresh Sound New Talent), an odd choice for an acoustic postbop session in which some originals employ one of the oldest tricks in the book: building tunes upon the chord changes of jazz standards. But the New York horn player previously chased a more self-consciously slick contemporary sound (hes also been a successful arranger for commercial R&B sessions), so the shift on his recent album truly is decisive and edgy. Raymond credits some of his redirection to rehearsal sessions with fellow trumpeter John McNeilwho produced the albumbut his surrounding company helped as well. Stylistically curious pianist Dan Tepfer remains one of jazzs most promising harmonic thinkers, and the rhythm section of bassist Joe Martin and veteran drummer Billy Hart summon a forceful energy and create a roomy structure ideal for Raymonds subtle, thoughtful imaginings. Written around the changes of How Deep Is the Ocean, the stuttery, thoroughly contemporary Deeper has a wistful lyric quality that creates a rich tension with the halting rhythmic texture. More oblique are Rest/Peace, a meditative improvisation inspired by the Horace Silver ballad Peace, and the terse free-improv vignette Hart of the Matter, which underlines the strong intuitive feel of the album as a whole."
Peter Margasak (July 2015)
"Billy Harts opening drum roll on the title track supported by Joe Martins fluidly loping bass quickly announces that this is no run-of-the mill blowing session. Hart is always a class act, notably here in his light-touch percussive masterclass on the short Hart Of The Matter, but the leader has a quietly deliberative way with a line, while pianist Dan Tepper is consistently interesting.
Most of the material here is by the leader, with Rest/Peace and Hart Of The Matter group improvisations. Mark Time is a suitable airy tribute to its late composer, Kenny Wheeler. The title track could be a Jazz Messengers staple, Deeper has more of a chamber music feel to it, while Chant adds a touch of suspense. Throughout, this is a group that gives itself much light and space for its individual lines, as nothing ever feels cluttered or unnecessary. Neither does it ever shout, for this is a quietly well-mannered set from a good little quartet."
-Simon Adams (Jazz Journal, June 2015)
"Trumpeter John Raymond was being ironic when he chose the title Foreign Territory for an album capturing the feeling of the classic jazz tradition perfectly.
What makes this such a fine album is the fantastic interplay among Raymond, pianist Dan Tepfer, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Billy Hart. These excellent players are also adept listeners, which is essential to building a strong improvisational and harmonic foundation. There is no simple lock-step comping here. The way they play off of each others thoughts and open spaces for their ideas while maintaining the songs coherence is a balancing act that they pull off seamlessly. This is evident from the silky title cut and hard-swinging tracks What Do You Hear? and Adventurous-Lee.
Hardbop is Raymonds home-base but Deeper is an intriguing and energetic variation, what might be described as chamber bop. Raymond also takes compositional cues from the masters. The dancing- through-raindrops head of New Blues exemplifies admiration for the freedom and challenges of Monk-like melodic and harmonic structures while haunting and majestic Chant recalls one of John Coltranes emboldening classic quartet anthems. The improvised Rest/Peace begins tentatively but when the band finally lands on common ground, it sounds composed, which underscores the importance of listening. A second improvisation, Hart of the Matter, misses the mark because it short-changes its subjecta master of his craft like Hart should have center stage floodlit for him to let him air it out. Whats here instead is an afterthought that sounds like a tepid effort to fill in leftover studio time. Thankfully, the great drummer gets his moment in the sun on the stunning Mark Time.
Back to the albums title. The territory is familiar, yes, but explored with a refreshing contemporary perspective. Raymond leads the way with sure-handed tonality and this quartet can easily become one of the hallmark bands in the business."
Terrell Holmes (April, 2015)
The New York City Jazz Records
"Inspiration doesnt have to come from reshaping the ground beneath ones feet; the creative spark can also be ignited by exploring well-trod terrain with fresh eyes. On his sophomore CD "Foreign Territory" (Fresh Sound/New Talent), Brooklyn-based trumpeter/composer John Raymond takes a refreshing and exciting look at the jazz tradition with a set of original compositions that retain the musics classic aspects while feeling entirely contemporary.
To realize his modern reimagining of traditional elements, Raymond assembled a stellar quartet that is uniquely qualified to merge past and present pianist Dan Tepfer, bassist Joe Martin and legendary drummer Billy Hart. With such a highly spontaneous group of musicians interpreting Raymond's intriguing compositions (one of which was chosen as a winner of ASCAP's 2015 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer award), the result was a cohesive effort of songs that create both a sense of mystery and a sense of joy in exploring the unknown.
Labeled "a prepossessing young trumpet player" (New York Times), Raymond performs regularly with musicians such as Orrin Evans, Linda Oh, Ethan Iverson, Rudy Royston and Gilad Hekselman among others. He has recently been a featured artist at the NYC Winter Jazz Festival, FONT Festival and Center City Jazz Festival, has recorded with Grammy-nominated singer Sara Bareilles, and has performed at events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and NPR's Toast of the Nation New Year's Eve celebration."
http://newyork.jazznearyou.com (April, 2015)
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