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Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble: Forward

Paul Dietrich is an American trumpet player/composer based out of Chicago. He formed the Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble in 2012 and released their debut album We Always Get There in 2014 followed by Focus in 2017. The ensemble is back with their new recording titled Forward featuring Clarence Penn on drums.

Dietrich composed all eight tracks but only plays trumpet on “Green Fields”. For those loving brass and woodwinds you need not worry as there are six saxophonists, four trombonists and five trumpeters as well as a guitarist, pianist, bassist and vocalist. That’s no less than eighteen musicians in total. The first track “Rush” is a truly delightful excursion into classic yet modern jazz with a big band mentality filled with expression and creativity. A repeating piano motif and subtle drums begin the piece as the brass builds in layer upon layer. It’s a highly enjoyable and melodic sound with exemplarity musicianship. Just check out the superb trumpet and saxophone solos by Russ Johnson and Tony Barba respectively, really some great tones here. “Settle” is a much slower moving piece with gentle piano and a gorgeous alto sax solo. The space between the notes is sometimes more significant than the actual notes, the drums and bass being prime examples here, very restrained yet purposeful and never in too much of a rush. The music does build substantially with all band members in synchronous bliss. The last track “Green Fields” is a gently moving piece featuring rich bass and pretty piano. The brass comes through in sumptuous waves of sound as the bass and drums move ever so slowly leading to Dietrich’s wonderful trumpet solo, a true thing of beauty and a nice tribute to the late Fred Sturm.

Dietrich proves to be an exceptional composer and band leader with Forward. It’s a mesmerizing and imaginative foray into big band jazz and a listening experience I highly recommend.

Track Listing:
1. Rush (9:45)
2. Settle (7:34)
3. Like Water (7:01)
4. Chorale (7:04)
5. Forward: I. Perennial (8:43)
6. Forward: II. Snow (9:35)
7. Forward: III. Roads (8:03)
8. Forward: IV. Green Fields (8:23)

Added: March 17th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 349
Language: english

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