Michael Sarian and The Chabones – The Escape Suite

“I don’t know. I’m making this up as I go.” One of the all-time great movie lines, uttered by Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost. It was a testament to Indiana Jones’ tendency to improvise to meet an objective when the original plan and backup plan have failed. It’s also a sign of a jazz musician doing what jazz musicians do – taking what is known and exploring the unknown. Michael Sarian and The Chabones capture this concept with The Escape Suite (2015).

Sarian plays trumpet. The other band members are Jim Piela, alto and soprano sax; Ricky Alexander, tenor sax; David Banker, trombone on “Brett Atlas”; Christopher Misch-Bloxdorf, trombone; Michael Verselli, Rhodes and Minimoog; Trevor Brown, electric bass; and Josh Bailey, drums.

“Brett Atlas” begins with a bit of spacey underscore behind soft trumpet. When the melody starts, Sarian leads with Alexander answering his calls. The intensity picks up swiftly, only to shut down after the main theme. That haunting, spacey sound returns as the tenor delivers a mellow, groovy solo. Tom rolls accent a few changes of direction. Then, the music swells as the other instruments return, setting up for a dramatic conclusion.

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