Zaleski’s first trio recording for Sunnyside, My Ideal, came out in 2015 and was a collection of standards and cover songs performed in a highly individual and energetic manner.
For Fellowship, Zaleski wanted to bring the same musical approach to compositions from his own pen, challenging his trio mates to new creative heights on new, unfamiliar pieces.
In writing these new pieces, Zaleski paid special attention in crafting compositions that walked a fine line, as he says: “Overwriting can stifle improvisation, but underwriting can result in monotony or chaos.” His ideal composition being one that is both tuneful and a good harmonic/rhythmic vehicle for inspired solos from him and his band mates. The program is accentuated by two pieces by legendary jazz composers, Duke Pearson and John Coltrane, that help illustrate the continuum in the development of jazz composition and improvisation from the 1950s until now.
The recording begins with the highly interactive and inventive “Table Talk,” named for the pie company based near his hometown of Boylston, Massachusetts. The ruminative “Westinghouse” is a poetic tribute to composer Billy Strayhorn, while Duke Pearson’s toe tapping “Is That So?” is played to a quietly stirring effect. The title track is a wonderfully composed (both in form and esthetic), a true meditation in music.
Douglas’s tremendous intro bass solo on “Out Front” leads to the harmonic underpinning of the cyclic and longingly propulsive “Homestead,” a song about the frustrations of being on the road. Zaleski’s dynamic blues piece “Lifetime” is dedicated to a club in Shizuoka, Japan of the same name, the piece as joyful and warmhearted as his recollections of the club. The wonderful take on John Coltrane’s “Central Park West” puts the trio’s sensitive artistry on full display. The program concludes with the abstractly grooving “P.S.,” a knotty dedication to friend, vibraphonist and composer Peter Schlamb.
Be The First To Review This Product!
Help other Birdland Records users shop smarter by writing reviews for products you have purchased.