Pianist/composer Renee Rosnes is scheduled to release her latest album, Kinds of Love Friday through Smoke Sessions Records. The nine-song record, which runs 56-minutes, is a record that will appeal equally to Rosenes’ established audiences just as much as those who are less familiar with her work. That is proven throughout the record thanks to the varied arrangements. ‘In Time Like Air,’ one of the album’s early entries, is a prime example of what this album has to offer audiences. It will be discussed shortly. ‘Evermore,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another example of the album’s strength. It will be examined a little later. ‘Swoop,’ the album’s penultimate entry is yet another example of how much the album has to offer. It will also be discussed later. All three songs noted here are key in their own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, that whole makes the album in whole a successful offering from Rosnes that any jazz fan will enjoy.
Kinds of Love, the latest album from pianist/composer Renee Rosnes, is a record that any jazz fan will love. The diversity in the record’s featured musical arrangements does well to support that statement. ‘In Time Like Air’ is just one of the songs that serves so well to show why audiences will enjoy this record so much. Billy Childs, a longtime friend of Rosnes points out in the liner notes that he penned for the album, that the song’s arrangement conjures thoughts of nature, adding that a bird’s song that Rosnes had heard many years ago was in fact the inspiration for this song’s primary melody. That melody cuts through cleanly here with the song’s piano line and flute. The duality of the pairing is so rich. At the same time, the addition of the saxophone and bass and keyboard to the mix adds to that sense of nature even more. Audiences can almost see the trees, green leaves and all, blowing lightly in the wind here as the bird that apparently Rosnes never identified, sings somewhere therein. The bass line and secondary keyboard line sort of conjure thoughts of the other animals in the forest. The way in which the group comes together here is so enjoyable in its simplicity. On a more purely musical level, the sound of that secondary keyboard throws back to the fusion sounds of the 1970s while the rest of the instrumentation brings a more modern touch to the mix. The whole is so well balanced here to the result that it all paints such a rich picture and ensures full engagement and entertainment from listeners. It is just one of the songs that serves to show so well why this album is a success. ‘Evermore’ is another way in which the album shows its strength.
Childs points out in his notes on this song that there is a lot of classical influence in the composition. Specifically, he notes influences from the works of Bach. That influence is evident especially, as Childs notes, in the performance of bassist Christian McBride. His slow, subtle bowings, alongside Rosnes’ equally subtle performance on the piano, present a clear classical style composition here. Interestingly enough, when saxophonist Chris Potter joins in, his jazz influence alongside that noted classical leaning makes the song even more intriguing. One would think that the two contrasting genres would be too stark together, but the group does so well here to make them work. That is a tribute to the attention to detail put in by all involved here. Even with the nearly eight-minute opens ending on a decidedly somber tone, there is still such a richness about the song in whole that makes it stand out in the best way possible. No doubt this song will certainly catch listeners’ ears just as much as ‘In Time Like Air.’ It is one more example of the rich diversity in the album’s musical arrangements, and also further shows the talents of all involved. ‘Swoop’ is yet another example of that diversity and talent.
‘Swoop’ is the penultimate entry in Rosnes’ new album. It is just as starkly unlike the other two songs examined here as they are from one another. That is a good thing, too. Childs writes of this full-on bop composition, that while it starts off simply, the complexity grows from there. Childs is right in that aspect, too. What is even more interesting here is that even as complex it gets with everything in the mix (including Rosnes’ occasional almost free jazz form on the piano), it never gets so complex that it leaves audiences behind. Rather, Potter and drummer Carl Allen join together for what feels like a certain level of improve, too, but the duo works so well together. Much the same can be said of McBride’s work in his bass solo. The whole is such a light, fun work that again is so much unlike much of the rest of the album’s work. It once again clearly exhibits the noted diversity in the album’s arrangements while also fully engaging and entertaining audiences. When it and the other songs examined here are examined together with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Kinds of Love a complete success from Rosnes and company that any jazz fan will love.
Renee Rosnes’ forthcoming album Kinds of Love is a successful new offering from the group. It will appeal just as much to Rosnes’ established audience base as it will to those who are less familiar with her work. That is proven time and again through the musical arrangements featured in each song. From one to the next, the arrangements are diverse in their stylistic approaches and sounds. From complex works to simpler, but still so engaging, the songs offer so many moods and thoughts. All things considered, the album proves to be a record that deserves its own consideration among the best of this year’s new jazz albums.
Kinds of Love is scheduled for release Friday through Smoke Session Records. More information on this and other titles from Smoke Sessions Records is available along with all of the label’s latest news at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.