"Sink/Swim" is the first release of the IAN CAREY QUINTET, which has been active in the San Francisco jazz scene since 2004.
The album features the talents of trumpeter and composer Ian Carey, pianist Adam Shulman, saxophonist Evan Francis, bassist Fred Randolph, and drummer Jon Arkin, who have developed an intense musical chemistry.
For this session, the quintet explores originals by Carey, including "Thirteen" (a swinging, rhythmically surprising minor blues), "No Comment" (a dark mood piece in a latin groove), "Sink/Swim" (a richly harmonic waltz), and "The Last Cigarette" (a study in counterpoint and group interplay reminiscent of Miles Davis's "In a Silent Way" period).
The group also takes original stabs at compositions both familiar (Wayne Shorter's "ESP"--check out the intricate horn work towards the end), and less well known (such as Joe Gilman's burner "Treasure Chest," and "The Spinning Song," written by under-appreciated genius Herbie Nichols).
Praise for "SINK/SWIM":
"Ian Carey is a gifted young trumpeter and composer who asks deep musical questions and comes up with compelling answers."
- Bill Kirchner, composer/educator, and editor of The Oxford Companion to Jazz and The Miles Davis Reader.
"An exciting set of music with a heavy-hitting lineup of musicians... Ian Carey['s] expressive musicianship is complimented by his tasteful compositions."
- Greg Bridges, KCSM Jazz 91, KPFA FM, Reflections in Rhythm
"Carey's themes are catchy and original, and all the improvisations are fresh and inventive, highlighted by Francis's sparkling saxophone and Carey's own warm, flowing trumpet work."
- Lewis Porter, Jazz scholar/educator (Rutgers University), author of Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present, Jazz Perspectives: Lester Young, and John Coltrane: His Life and Music.
"[Sink/Swim] has a rich, introspective 1970s feel... Carey, who knows his jazz history, plays a warm horn with a Freddie Hubbard feel... Many of the compositions and arrangements are by Carey, and the CD includes tight interpretations of Wayne Shorter's 'ESP' and Herbie Nichols' 'The Spinning Song.'"
- Marc Myers, JazzWax.com
"Interesting and original tunes from this inventive and sensitive jazz artist. Carey weaves his way through the changes with a velvety sound while his arrangements hold your attention. Carey's writing can be fugue-like, straightahead or chamber-like. It's always nice to hear from the younger generation and this CD won't disappoint you."
SINK/SWIM was named an All About Jazz Monthly Pick for May 2006, by David Adler (JazzTimes, Slate, New York Times).
"The album has the feel of the late 1950s recordings of Miles Davis and Art Farmer, blending elements of hard bop and cool jazz while leaning toward gentler, more lyrical tones."
- Justin Freitas, Berkeley Daily Planet