Nov 24 2013
Today’s featured video is a promo vid for January, the debut album by the Ian Torres Big Band. Performing a terrific rendition of Bach’s “Air on the G string,” it gives a glimpse into this recording’s intelligence and the possibilities of what might lie ahead.
The album’s subtitle is The Birth and Development, alluding to the span of time between the recording of the first half of the album and its second half, and Torres’s growth over that time as composer and trumpeter.
Featuring some solid names from the Chicago jazz scene, including Caroline Davis, Corbin Andrick, Rob Cleafield, Greg Ward, and Greg Duncan (all names that have received mention on this site and/or my eMusic Jazz Picks column), it’s straight-ahead big band sound with some modern qualities that should give it some appeal to both old- and new-school fans alike.
This was the video Torres used during the crowd-funding campaign to raise cash to produce the album. Obviously, that is now over (and successful), since the album is officially released. In truth, the video itself isn’t very good. There are questionable choices of studio footage. However, one aspect about it that I want to emphasize is that Torres uses an actual full track, and not the occasional samples interrupted by voice-over and interviews. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve viewed a crowd-funding promo video, heard a tune that really sounded good, just to have it interrupted by a cut-away to a shot of the musician talking to the camera. I mean, fine, if you want to produce an additional promo interview that has the musician talking to the camera about the project, go for it.
But as this video proves, providing a promo vid with a full album track goes a long way. I mean, I don’t even think this video is that great, but it’s such an excellent song that I was looking for any excuse to share it with as many people as I could (thus, today’s post)… that’s the kind of enthusiasm you want to build as a musician when asking people to help fund your project.
Here’s a stream of the title-track “January,” just to give you a better sense of what this solid debut has to offer…
If there’s one quality this album has in spades, it’s an abounding warmth. Some tracks work better than others, but the album’s strengths have a greater resonance than its weaknesses, and for a debut, it’s an impressive introduction.
Here’s where you can go to purchase it: