Hearing The Depth

I am not a critic and I don’t envy them their jobs. Nonetheless, here’s my take on a show I saw the other night at Spark, in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York.

One of the big benefits of organizing a festival like FONT Music is getting to hear what everyone is up to, and August 17 was no different. It continues to amaze me how deep and wide the scene actually is.

Trumpeter Keyon Harrold had a last minute emergency and LeRon Thomas was kind enough to bring in his band at a moment’s notice. LeRon has a huge sound and writes fantastic material. His tune Erica was a substantial update on harmony-rich ballad’s like Wayne Shorter’s Iris. Sensitive and subtle, but also with the power to communicate great tenderness and loss. Definitely check LeRon out.

Diego Urcola followed. He has such a beautiful sound, and he’s found a way to combine his modern concept of playing with the traditional music of his native Argentina. It was a special thrill to hear Astor Piazzola’s Libertango played on the trumpet.

An embarrassment of riches: Nabate Isles closed the night with his band Synergy. It’s hard to believe how many trumpet players are doing new things, and this show was one more example: an ensemble of trumpet, flute, rhodes, guitar, bass and drums playing originals and arrangements of Lee Morgan and Nat Adderley. Nice.

It bears mentioning that Matt Clohesy played bass with two ensembles tonight, and plays on at least two other bands in this festival.

More to come …