Suresh Singaratnam | Lost in New York

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Progressive Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Lost in New York

by Suresh Singaratnam

Trumpeter/Composer Suresh Singaratnam's debut jazz release
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Temporal Incursions (feat. Jake Saslow, Jesse Lewis, Fabian Almazan, Fraser Hollins & Lee Pearson)
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10:30 album only
2. m104 (feat. Jake Saslow, Fabian Almazan, Fraser Hollins & Lee Pearson)
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6:34 album only
3. Beneath a Smile (feat. Lee Pearson, Fraser Hollins, Fabian Almazan, Jesse Lewis & Jake Saslow)
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9:39 album only
4. Spring for All But Me (feat. Charenée Wade & Jamie Reynolds)
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6:02 album only
5. Chrysanthemum (feat. Jake Saslow, Fabian Almazan, Lee Pearson & Fraser Hollins)
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5:24 album only
6. Fortress of Song (feat. Jake Saslow, Jesse Lewis, Fabian Almazan, Fraser Hollins & Lee Pearson)
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9:40 album only
7. Remnants of Eternity (feat. Jake Saslow, Jesse Lewis, Fabian Almazan, Fraser Hollins & Lee Pearson)
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9:44 album only
8. She Spoke Well (feat. Jake Saslow, Fabian Almazan, Fraser Hollins & Lee Pearson)
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4:34 album only
9. Peripheral Fission (feat. Jake Saslow, Jesse Lewis, Fabian Almazan, Fraser Hollins & Lee Pearson)
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5:34 album only


Album Notes
"These notes are, undoubtedly, not the comments and analysis that Suresh Singaratnam was expecting. Then again, Suresh Singaratnam, and his music, displays quite a bit of the unexpected.

The first surprise is that Suresh plays both Western Classical and Jazz. It's not unheard of for a musician to work these two sides of music's bandstand. Indeed, the root of fellow trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis', genuine Superstardom lays in his triumphs in both worlds. Still, it's not too typical for a musician to work both the Jazz and Western Classical fields. Suresh Singaratnam is a quality cat in both idioms.

The next surprise is the depth of his background in either field and beyond. Suresh Singaratnam is not ready to take "because" as the answer to "why". Suresh needs to know, to really know. Of Mr. Singaratnam's many attributes, it is the intensity of his quest for musical knowledge that I am most familiar with and why I give him so much respect.

At the start of this new century, I was Suresh's Jazz History teacher in the conservatory. I didn't think that he believed me when I explained that I was the teacher, but he, of course, was the better musician.
It was a few years later, when I procured entry for Suresh into an in-house Jazz workshop I was holding at Jazz at Lincoln Center, that he proved that he had come to believe. During the workshop's last gathering, I was asked to review the use of modes in Jazz. Spotting Suresh entering the classroom, I told him to take over. Now, I was the student.

Then - you can't make this stuff up folks - after a five year absence of any contact between us, Suresh Singaratnam walked back into my classroom - now the Jazz at Lincoln Center school for listeners called Swing University - just as a participant asked me to review the use of modes in Jazz. You bet: I put Suresh on the spot and he, once again, came through with flying colors.

This time he brought with him the new development in his musical: his initial recordings as a leader. They represent Suresh Singaratnam in both his musical worlds. There's more than a slim suggestion that he's working on bridging them. It could make Suresh a Third Streamer for the 21st century. But any musical path he chooses to journey on is a road the listener will rewarded for traveling along."

- Phil Schaap

Suresh Singaratnam - trumpet
Charenée Wade - voice (Spring for All But Me)
Jake Saslow - tenor saxophone
Jesse Lewis - guitar
Fabian Almazan - piano
Jamie Reynolds - piano (Spring for All But Me)
Fraser Hollins - bass
Lee Pearson - drums

All Music & Lyrics by Suresh Singaratnam
Produced by Suresh Singaratnam

Track 1-3 & 5-9 recorded at Bennett Studios (Lou Brown - engineer, Travis Stefl - assistant engineer)

Mixed & Edited at M:K:Soundworks (Marc Koecher - engineer)

Track 4 recorded, edited & mixed at L. Brown Recording (Lou Brown - engineer)

Mastered at The Vault Mastering Studio (Nathan James - engineer)


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The Underscorer

Lost in New York
Lost in New York marks trumpeter Suresh Singaratnam’s debut jazz recording as well as his commitment to the trumpet as a classical and jazz practitioner with the recent release of a classical recording Two Hundred Sixty-One: Vol 1.

Lost is clearly a strong post-bop date and the majority of the content on this album is reminiscent of the energy of early Terence Blanchard and pre-septet Wynton Marsalis bands. However, Singaratnam’s solo style seems to owe much to Kenny Wheeler in its unpredictable and angular nature. There are lots of strong, clear technically solid phrases that emerge from and fall back into flurries of muted freefall. The choice of roles, space and combination of voices, within the ensemble and within his compositions, serve as smartly engaging provocations for solos. Tenor Saxophonist Jake Saslow and Guitarist Jesse Lewis are especially effective in playing off each other in heightened tension.

The album’s 10-minute opener Temporal Incursions is a showcase for the band’s individual and collective elasticity culminating in an intense passage of play by Saslow and Drummer Lee Pearson over the chaotic theme. m104 is a burning, swinging affair in the vein of Delfeayo’s Dilemma while Peripheral Fission pushes Singaratnam’s trumpet chops, repeating a sequence while a fluid tenor-guitar melody plays over it. Pianist Fabian Almazan, Bassist Fraser Hollins and Pearson are mechanically precise here in holding the form together, creating a sharp contrast to the turbulence when they free up. Lewis’ more ambient guitar work in these straight ahead pieces adds an extra dimension that keeps this format slightly out of the traditional vein.

At a relaxed pace, a sense of familiarity pervades Chrysanthemum and She Spoke Well where Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw’s compositional influence on the trumpeter are pronounced. It sees the band settle into something more comfortable without slipping off the interplay present in their more up-tempo selections.

Beneath a Smile, a light lilting composition, deceives the approaching improvised sections by the band – Singaratnam’s solo in a piano-less trio format is buoyant and inspired until the air clears again for Lewis’ renewal of direction. You are never fully aware of the twists and turns the piece has endured till you return to the theme.

Comparisons to such post-bop classics should go hand-in-hand with the open-mindness that jazz musicians have come to adopt, allowing the music of their times and their surroundings to influence their sense of adventure and discovery. The two clear highlights on this album that exemplify this for me are the epic Fortress of Song and Remnants of Eternity. Fortress sees Singaratnam step in line with the rhythm section allowing Saslow and Lewis to create a spiraling chaos around a beautiful, meditative melody line, invoking shades of Ornette and Radiohead. This tune is a stunner - the kind that builds and revels in the repetition of its deep dark theme. Remnants of Eternity on the other hand is a lush, exquisite tone poem with Pearson’s drums bubbling and popping under the solo voices – Almazan is lyrical and reflective, Singaratnam explores tone and tension with carefully picked phrases while Lewis chooses to engage Pearson’s rhythmic instincts, jabbing and rebounding with ideas.

Throughout this disc, the band is in great form displaying their ability to create and choose opportunities in these settings as they navigate their way through Singaratnam’s framework. This is a highly enjoyable listen with nine great original compositions that make you nostalgic for the sounds of Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, VSOP and Black Codes-era Marsalis, Blanchard et al. This Suresh Singaratnam outing certainly has a fitting title from which a discovery seems to have begun.


A must have for any jazz fan...
As someone who is pretty much a listening fixture in the New York jazz scene, I can undeniably say that 'Lost In New York' is a great jazz album by an extremely gifted young composer and trumpet player. LINY is packed with energy, originality and enthusiasm for the music being played -- things that are sometimes lost among some of the contemporary, younger musicians. Mr. Singaratnam offers great variety in his compositions, evoking the works of some of the great jazz legends, all the while putting his unique spin on things. Although a few tracks are probably longer than what the average non-jazz listener is used to, anyone who has an open mind will be able to appreciate the creativity and attention to detail in each track. Where Mr. Singaratnam really shines on this album is with his playing of a captivating, sensitive and technically brilliant solo in the beautifully composed "Spring For All But Me". But perhaps my favorite track on the entire album is entitled "Fortress of Song". The hauntingly gorgeous theme is continuously repeated and provides a foundation for the talented band to showcase their creativity over, eventually climaxing with an intense guitar solo by Jesse Lewis, brilliantly mixed to be an equal voice in the band. Overall, outstanding players and solid compositions make for a great album.