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Chris Washburne and the Syotos Band: Fields of Moons

Welcome to the land of brass. This is the world of Chris Washburne and the Syotos Band who have just come out with their new album Fields of Moons. Washburne, besides being a fine trombone and tuba player is an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Columbia University and the Director of Columbia's Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program. He has written many articles and has even written a book entitled Sounding Salsa: Performing Latin Music In New York City. As you can see Washburne is a busy guy but he does have some help. Filling out the rest of the band are John Walsh (trumpet, Flugelhorn), Ole Mathisen (tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet), Barry Olsen (piano), Leo Traversa (electric bass), Diego Lopez (drums) and Cristian Rivera (percussion). The band has been together for twenty years and it is evident upon listening to the new album just how exceptionally well they play together. The style is Latin jazz and on this CD the band goes for a laid back ballad approach rather than searing up-tempo grooves and it all works very well. However, do not be fooled by the mellower approach as the playing is excellent, in particular the brass. Washburne, Walsh and Mathisen leave their mark all over these ten songs. Trombone, trumpet and sax intertwine and play off one another beautifully making this CD a no-brainer for anyone interested in the sounds of brass.

"Fields Of Moons" opens the album with a peaceful piano motif, subtle percussion and washes of cymbal before the brass instruments join together in creating one of the CDs many melodic moments. "Seas Of Slumber" boasts a feel good Latin groove and excellent performances by Washburne, Walsh and Mathisen. The sultry Latin jazz of "Obsesión" begins with Washburne's trombone before sax and trumpet weave their magic. One does not miss the guitar on this track as Traversa's bass playing fills the role beautifully doing a great job at mimicking the instrument. "Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love" showcases the brass instrumentation especially the sultry sax work of Mathisen. "When Lights Are Low" is pure pastiche, an uplifting ballad that is completely endearing to these ears with some lovely interplay between trumpet and trombone. The rest of the album is equally as moving.

Latin jazz enthusiasts should take heed and listen to Fields of Moons, especially those who appreciate the softer side of jazz and fabulous brass instrumentation. Do yourself a favour a feel the love.

Track Listing:
1. Fields Of Moons (4:42)
2. Seas Of Slumber (3:46)
3. Obsesión (6:25)
4. Poinciana (5:07)
5. Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love (4:08)
6. When Lights Are Low (4:31)
7. Non Spoken (5:12)
8. Evening Rites (4:24)
9. Long Time Coming (7:05)
10. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans (6:36)

Added: September 4th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1735
Language: english

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