Best of 2017 #43: Kati Briens Dream Band – “Happy Music” (Self-Produced)


I love the way this album sings.  Every expression has got so much feel, and the energy radiating from each note comes through strong and bright.  The debut from Kati Briens Dream Band sets off the bright tones of alto sax against the darker tones of bass clarinet, in that same way both a glorious summer afternoon benefits from the warmth of sunbeams and the shadows cooling off the breeze.  The sextet, consisting of two alto saxophonists, a trombonist and a bass clarinetist, makes good use of the harmonic avenues open to it, while the bass and drums rhythm section adds some definition to melodies that might otherwise run free and wild.  Melodies are cast out sharp and clear before the ensemble begins to murky the waters and have some fun splashing about.  Even when the music grows introspective, the sense of a weightless motion carries things along.  Happy Music is not even a little bit accidentally named.

Music from Berlin, Germany.

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