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Singaratnam, Suresh: Lost In New York

Suresh Singaratnam was born in Zambia, has spent time in the U.K. and currently resides in Toronto, Canada. After attending the University of Toronto he enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and studied classical trumpet. In 2009 Singaratnam released two albums – Two Hundred Sixty-One, Vol 1 and Lost In New York and although I have not heard the former I can say the latter hits all the right notes and is an excellent album of modern jazz.

Lost In New York is a concept piece chronicling the time Singaratnam has spent in New York City. The booklet is quite stunning containing cartoon drawings depicting the everyday life of the artist and extensive liner notes describing the album's nine songs.

Complementing the album's stunning artwork is the music itself. Lost In New York is a complex work but not so complex as to lose its melodic sensibility. The album does a great job at combining complex song structures with head sticking melodies. Although many of these compositions have angular moments of pure dissonance it is a very listenable record without being long winded and overly pretentious. No notes seem out of place and the album flows beautifully from one theme to the next.

The album starts with "Temporal Incursions" where a persistent bass line underscores Singaratnam's fabulous trumpet work and classically influenced piano but all the musicians are allowed to show their considerable skill. The tenor saxophone of Jake Saslow is also a highlight as he lays down an excellent solo over a background of dissonant textures. "M104" features a bluesy bass line that absolutely shines. The trumpet and sax blend together wildly adding excitement to the whole affair. "Beneath A Smile" is a great jazz track where melody and discord break through the surface and is a showcase for the guitar explorations of Jesse Lewis. His intricate fretwork and complex chord structures are a highlight here. The uplifting "Spring For All But Me" is in the tradition of the classic jazz standard and features a moving melody and the lovely vocals of Charenée Wade. This is in contrast to the sad sounding "Fortress Of Song" where gentle piano and trumpet gradually increase in intensity as does Lewis's guitar work. The album ends with the chaotic "Peripheral Fission", a song that boasts virtuosic performances by all, in particular the drumming of Lee Pearson. His drumming reaches a level of complexity that is unmatched to this point. Great stuff indeed.

Lost In New York is an outstanding album of intricate jazz played by some of the best musicians the jazz scene currently has to offer. Singaratnam has produced a mature and first class effort making this album hard to ignore. This is an essential purchase for all jazz fans and one which I highly recommend.


Track Listing:
1. Temporal Incursions (10:29)
2. M104 (6:34)
3. Beneath A Smile (9:38)
4. Spring For All But Me (6:02)
5. Chrysanthemum (5:23)
6. Fortress Of Song (9:37)
7. Remnants Of Eternity (9:44)
8. She Spoke Well (4:34)
9. Peripheral Fission (5:34)

Added: September 4th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artsist's Official Site
Hits: 2050
Language: english

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