Archive for December 26th, 2012

Natalie Cressman and Secret Garden – Unfolding

Women generally are under-appreciated in jazz. And many who are recognized are vocalists. The group, Natalie Cressman and Secret Garden, is fronted by a young woman who not only sings but also composes and plays trombone. She exhibits all three skills on her recording debut, Unfolding (self-produced, 2012).

Secret Garden consists of 20-year-old Cressman, trumpeter Ivan Rosenberg, tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (except for “That Kind”), pianist Pascal LeBoeuf, acoustic bassist Ruben Samama and drummer/percussionist Jake Goldbas. Guests are Zach Gould, who claps along with the rhythm section, and Peter Apfelbaum, takes over tenor sax duties on “That Kind.”

“Flip” opens the set in dynamic fashion. Cressman and the other horns carry the melody, complemented by strong performances from the rhythm section. After the initial rush, the pace slows briefly, to set up Cressman’s throaty trombone interlude. It’s nearly all stop for LeBoeuf, who is accompanied only by Samama and Goldbas. Cressman joins in with a haunting, wordless vocal chant. The rest of the band gets back into gear, reverting to the melody.

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