Kaleidoscope

“Presence”

(Brass Tonic)

Trumpeter, vocalist and composer Sarah Wilson is the first to admit that she stands on the shoulders of giants. On Kaleidoscope (Brass Tonic), her latest recording, the native Californian dedicates several songs to the important mentors and influences who inspired her — including pianist Myra Melford, who also plays on the album. Having moved to New York City in the 1990s (before returning to the West Coast), Wilson absorbed the creative vitality of a thriving Downtown scene, which continues to inform her artistry. For her new album, Wilson assembled a like-minded, A-list ensemble, featuring Melford, violinist Charlie Burnham, guitarist John Schott, bassist Jerome Harris and drummer Matt Wilson. A heady Calypso rhythm drives the festive “Presence,” a tip of the hat to pianist-composer Carla Bley that was inspired by Bley’s tune “Major,” from her 1999 duo album with Steve Swallow, Are We There Yet? Harris and Wilson establish the groove at the top and soon are joined by Schott’s lively guitar. The party picks up with the introduction of mellow brass and then gives way to Burnham’s buoyant bowing, the rhythm section never relinquishing the infectious groove.

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