Aug 17 2015
There’s a spellbinding quality to the new release from the Ghost Train Orchestra that grows stronger with successive listens. Brian Carpenter‘s arrangements of hot jazz compositions from Roaring Twenties Chicago and Harlem is warm sunshine given sonic form. The up-tempo nature of Hot Town, even at the peak of its velocity, possesses the casual ease of a Summer day in the shade. And it’s that friendly handshake of easy-going enthusiasm and abounding good cheer that makes return visits ever more compulsory.
Baritone and bass saxophones are as light on their feet as banjos, clarinets and drums. The de facto triangulation of tuba, viola and banjo create appealing contrasts of tone as accompaniment to an otherwise straight-ahead traditional sound. The vocal track “You Ain’t the One” maintains the album’s galloping cadence and lazy river ambiance without stifling the vocalist’s emerging presence.
It’s pretty hard not to fall for this album once you’ve accepted its invitation.
Your album personnel: Brian Carpenter (trumpet, harmonica, arrangements), Dennis Lichtman (clarinet), Andy Laster (alto & baritone saxophones), Petr Cancura (tenor & alto saxes, clarinet), Curtis Hasselbring (trombone), Mazz Swift (violin, vocals), Jordan Voelker (viola, musical saw), Cynthia Sayer (plectrum banjo), Ron Caswell (tuba), Rob Garcia (drums) and guests: Colin Stetson (bass sax) and Andrew Stern (tenor banjo).
Released on Accurate Records.
Jazz from NYC.
Explore more of Ghost Train Orchestra’s music on their Soundcloud page.