Archive for January 14th, 2016

Kirsten Edkins – Art & Soul

The music has a touch of the familiar, if only in the approach to playing it straight – no gimmicks. However, the songs of Art & Soul, the debut of composer and saxophonist Kirsten Edkins (Kirsten Edkins Music, 2015) are all new.

Edkins plays tenor, alto and soprano saxophones. Her primary accompanists are Larry Goldings, piano and Hammond B3 organ; Mike Valerio, bass; and Mark Ferber, drums. Guitarist Larry Koonse appears on two tracks. Friend and mentor Bob Sheppard, tenor sax and bass clarinet, appears on three tracks. Other guests are Mike Cottone, trumpet; and Ryan Dragon, trombone.

Sheppard offers the distinctive sound of bass clarinet as part of the bass rhythm for “Good Blood.” This is an old school band piece with blended horns, Cottone and Dragon joining Edkins for the melody. Solos are by Valerio, Edkins (soprano), Dragon and Goldings (piano). The overall mood is easygoing, placid and at times adventurous. Some of the background sounds add a haunting element.

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