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Artists Recording Collective (ARC) label titles are reviewed by the top national and international publications like Down Beat magazine, Jazz Times magazine, and Jazziz. And, at major digital portals like AllAboutJazz.com.  This page presents recent reviews and archived 25 reviews posted at All About Jazz.

Alchemy Sound Project: Further Explorations

Karl AckermannBy KARL ACKERMANN
Published: 
courtesy of AllAboutJazz.com
4-star-review

Alchemy Sound Project: Further ExplorationsThe collective, Alchemy Sound Project, is a core quintet of composers and musicians whose compositions, on their debut album, Further Explorations cross over a foundation of chamber music with traditional jazz. The central players had united under the banner of the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute prior to this project. With diverse interests in global influences as well as backgrounds in a multitude of musical mediums, their challenge was to create jazz influenced by classical principles, a bit of a reverse process from the conventional approach.

Saxophonist Erica Lindsay, who performs with the Oliver Lake Big Band, also co-leads a quartet with Alchemy Sound Project pianist Sumi Tonooka, a group that includes bassist Rufus Reid. Tonooka, whose accomplishments include a residency with The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, drew considerable attention for her solo release Now (Artists Recording Collective, 2012). Multi-reed player Salim Washington was a member of Fred Ho‘s Afro-Asian Music Ensemble and a founding member of the activist group, The Eco-Music Big Band. Bassist David Arend works across multiple genres and has performed with artists that run the gamut from the San Francisco Symphony to Carlos Santana. Trumpeter Samantha Boshnack leads multiple groups and has played with Wayne Horvitzin the Washington Composers Orchestra. Not regular members of Alchemy Sound Project, trombonist Willem de Koch and drummer Max Wood join in on Further Explorations.

“Charcoal, Clear, Beautiful All Over” opens a ten piece collection prevalent with opulent yet understated expressions. The title track takes a more avant-garde approach but no less rich in atmosphere. Tonooka, Lindsay and Washington, in particular, build on the traditional lexicons of their respective instruments to keep the music from settling too long in one place. Following its stately opening, “Alchemical” provides a launch pad for some adventurous improvising from Tonooka and Lindsay before returning to a variation on the opening theme. More overtly jazz-oriented, “Waiting” and “Beta” have moments of wilder abandon while “Archetype” builds to boil and “Joie De Vivre” is as exuberant as its name implies.

Further Explorations is an excellent debut from a talented group of composers and players. The goal of jazz/chamber integration is well balanced, primarily because this group has evident passion for rendering their individual and collective contributions to that organic end point. The invention, tonal shading and occasional raucousness on this album give it a warm glow and a sense of fun.

Track Listing: Charcoal, Clear, Beautiful All Over; Further Explorations; Alchemical; Waiting; Beta; Her Name Is Love; Archetype; Divergency; Joie De Vivre; The Call.Personnel: Erica Lindsay: saxophone; Sumi Tonooka: piano; Salim Washington: saxophone, oboe, flute, bass clarinet; David Arend: bass; Samantha Boshnack: trumpet; Willem de Koch: trombone; Max Wood: drums.

Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Artists Recording Collective

25 Archived Reviews

The Ottawa SessionsMichael Pagan, Bob Bowman, Brian Steever
The Ottawa Sessions (December 08, 2015)

 

RoninB.J. Jansen
Ronin (March 17, 2014)

 

NOW: Solo Live at the Howland Cultural CenterSumi Tonooka
NOW: Solo Live at the Howland Cultural Center (July 16, 2012)

 

NowSumi Tonooka
Now (June 19, 2012)

 

ConfluenceKeith Pray
Confluence (June 18, 2012)

 

ConfluenceKeith Pray
Confluence (May 29, 2012)

 

She Do What She DoThe Uptown Jazz Collective
She Do What She Do (April 23, 2011)

 

She Do What She DoThe Uptown Jazz Collective
She Do What She Do (March 30, 2011)

 

Live At Art Gallery ReutlingenLee Shaw Trio
Live At Art Gallery Reutlingen (March 08, 2011)

 

Together Again: Live At The EggJohn Medeski & Lee Shaw
Together Again: Live At The Egg (February 15, 2011)

 

Live @ Duc des LombardsSebastien Paindestre
Live @ Duc des Lombards (October 05, 2010)

 

InitiationErica Lindsay / Sumi Tonooka
Initiation (June 15, 2010)

 

Motherless ChildJohn Blake Jr.
Motherless Child (April 08, 2010)

 

InitiationErica Lindsay and Sumi Tonooka
Initiation (February 12, 2010)

 

InitiationErica Lindsay / Sumi Tonooka
Initiation (February 05, 2010)

 

InitiationErica Lindsay / Sumi Tonooka
Initiation (January 23, 2010)

 

InitiationErica Lindsay / Sumi Tonooka
Initiation (January 11, 2010)

 

BlossomLee Shaw Trio
Blossom (November 04, 2009)

 

Live in EuropeJeff “Siege” Siegel
Live in Europe (August 02, 2009)

 

Long Ago TodaySumi Tonooka
Long Ago Today (February 25, 2009)

 

Live in GrazLee Shaw Trio
Live in Graz (January 01, 2009)

 

Lee Shaw Trio: Live in GrazLee Shaw
Lee Shaw Trio: Live in Graz (November 07, 2008)

 

Long Ago TodaySumi Tonooka Trio
Long Ago Today (July 05, 2008)

 

Long Ago TodaySumi Tonooka
Long Ago Today (May 25, 2008)

 

Long Ago TodaySumi Tonooka Trio
Long Ago Today (May 12, 2008)

 

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