A Rose in the Canyon

“Blue in the 2nd Degree”

(Val Gardena Music)

For his latest project, composer Christopher James assembled a cast of some of New York’s finest first-call instrumentalists and talented orchestrators. Each of its tracks feels like a journey. The title of the record, A Rose in the Canyon (Val Gardena Music), suggests imagery that is strongly poetic. It draws attention to the evocative nature of its music, which originated as a set of piano improvisations and eventually evolved into a final, beautifully orchestrated coup de maître. On ”Blue in the 2nd Degree,” an elegant and breezy composition with exotic flourishes, James tiptoes around the blues scale with explorative purpose. And when Jim Beard breaks free to take his glorious piano solo, he sounds like the manifestation of insatiable musical wanderlust.

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The Authoritative Voice in Jazz