The new five jazz quintet features some of the top up-and-coming jazz artists today. Collectively, the members of the ensemble have worked professionally with the likes of James Williams, Eric Revis, Adonis Rose, Neal Caine, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Ron Westray and Donald Brown among others. The group met while working on their degrees at the University of Texas at Austin. They soon formed a musical rapport and decided to put together a recording project to feature their original compositions. This culminated in their debut album, "Introducing the New 5."
What makes this group especially unique is each members dedication to promoting jazz education. By 2010, four of the five members will have doctorates in music. These include doctorates in Music and Human Learning, Jazz Performance and Jazz Composition. In addition, Dr. Chris Budhan, the groups bass player, leads a music festival every year in his home town of Charlottetown, PEI Canada. The festival gives young jazz musicians live performance opportunities as well as offering them lessons and master classes from seasoned jazz artists. The combined education and expertise of the New 5 members makes them the ideal group for master classes at festivals or camps.
Full Album Liner Notes:
Drawing on the influence of the classic quintets of the 60's, while simultaneously continuing the progression of contemporary jazz, the New 5 have gathered together a collection of eight captivating, haunting, playful and satisfying original compositions on this unique CD. From the lilting melody of "Countenance" to the velvet, cool bopish swing of "Rubina" to the maze of harmonic colors in "Mysterious Ways," each composition reflects the individual personality of the composer - and yet there is an undeniable cohesion to the music on this CD that can only be attributed to a focused group concept.
Pianist Peter Stoltzman offers up colorful, invigorating solos - his lines move in numerous directions, skipping and dancing to the exhilarating rhythmic pulse created by drummer David Colvin, who grooves heavily while supporting each soloist with an array of percussive ideas and textures. They are backed by bassist Chris Budhan, who is equally adept as a soloist as he is an accompanist, displaying plenty of varied comments in his playing.
In the front line, trumpeter Thomas Heflin's solos sparkle. With a mix of tradition and modernization, he fluently paints smooth fabrics of sequential lines with his horn. He is joined by tenor saxophonist Michael Arthurs, who combines a mellow sound with a modernized, bebop-flavored style reminiscent of Joe Henderson.
The members of the New 5 are finely attuned at a very high level - always interacting! Beautifully and artistically displayed, perhaps the album is best summed up in the unexpected spoken poetic voice that appears in the opening track, reminding us, "When words fail us, music becomes the sublimated language of the soul."
Listening to this music is pure pleasure. I highly recommend it!