The debut recording Song to a Rose by trumpeter Jamie Breiwick is included in my top ten favorites of this past year. Song to a Rose is a contemporary jazz approach to the bop idiom that flows serenely through seven tracks of musical intensity. A mix of standards “I Fall In Love Too Easily” with some great jazz tunes, “Beatrice” by Sam Rivers and “Gittin’ Down” by Freddie Hubbard, as well as originals that showcase Breiwick’s first rate composing skills.
The quintet is comprised of a group of excellent musicians, with a relentlessly driving rhythm section that pushes each tune to the limit. Piano, care of Steve Einerson who plays with serious intensity, beautiful melodic phrasing and intricately woven rhythmic patterns. Joe Sanders, a solid bassist who always lights a fire on the bottom end, with a great feel and who is a serious motive force. Sam Monroe on drums, a drummer who swings madly, while setting a free wheeling mood and creating an energetic vibe that allows the band to have plenty of space for flowing improvisational ideas. The alto and tenor saxophone playing of Curt Hanrahan is a fine compliment to the trumpet playing of Jamie Breiwick and adds intensity to the front line.
Trumpet with a mellow tone, bluesy lines, sounding some what gritty and phrasing that keeps you listening intently. Hanrahan takes up the response with his own statements of complimentary phrases that are fluid and dynamic, broken up by the occasional humorous quotes before releasing rapid fire runs and blowing melodic lines that range from low to mid register tenor sax in flowing style. “Beatrice,” a Sam Rivers composition is arranged in a ballad like manner with trumpet playing sounding reminiscent of Kenny Wheeler. The drums are swinging madly in the background, the piano comps the melody with pleasing full chords and the bass player keeps it all together. Steve Einerson steps out for an enchanting piano break at the half way point of this nine minute song, pretty, well placed lines run out from the keyboard and fly through the air as smooth rays of sound. Joe Sanders on acoustic bass, slows the pace down, producing blue notes and tones of passion with tender pizzicato playing.
The Freddie Hubbard tune “Gettin’ Down” does just that, allowing Breiwick, Einerson and Hanrahan to let go with serious playing. Curt Hanrahan takes the first solo and offers up a tenor storm of howling intensity. Steve Einerson continues on through the intensity, changing the dynamic to one of beauty and serenity, as he lays down some purity with clean delicate lines of precision. Jamie Breiwick takes over and settles into a groove of laid back tones offset with exciting statements that are phrased in a powerful, tasteful and most pleasing manner. The final track of the recording and the title track, “Song to a Rose” another Breiwick original, a ballad featuring the leaders’ wonderful horn playing, takes the project out in a melancholy manner. Excellent playing by all band members on Song to a Rose and great future potential by the leader and trumpeter Jamie Breiwick. Here’s looking forward to a follow up recording in the very near future.
- Paul J. Youngman