Aug 1 2013
Bringing together a variety of regional influences and musical approaches, banjoist Jayme Stone offers up the intoxicating The Other Side of the Air. A mix of chamber jazz and folk musics absorbed from his travels, Stone accentuates the elegant warmth of the former and the amiable charm of the latter. It’s an album where songs fuse floating harmonies and earthy rhythms, and wraps it all up with beautiful melodies.
At its heart, this is a sextet session, anchored by Stone’s banjo mastery, and bolstered with a mix of woodwinds, brass, and rhythm section. Stone brings in additional accompaniment from all three of those instrument categories for an orchestral surge that is often enchantingly subdued, providing hints of the show of strength that a large ensemble is capable of without ever letting it overwhelm the moments of fragile serenity.
Your album personnel: Jayme Stone (banjo), Rob Mosher (woodwinds), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Andrew Downing (cello, bass), Joe Phillips (bass), Nick Fraser (drums, percussion), Aleksandar Gajic (violin), Aline Homzy (violin), Kathleen Kajioka (viola), Amy Laing (cello), Anne Thompson (flute), Clare Scholtz (oboe), Peter Lutek (bassoon), William Carn (trombone), and David Quackenbush (french horn).
The album’s inspiration originates from Stone’s own travels as well as imaginary travels elicited from simply sitting back and reading about locales of intrigue and fascination. That potent mix of Big Travel and Big Imagination comes through in the music. The mix chamber jazz air and folk music earth, contrasting and complementary elements that derive very real sensory reactions in the listener is further emphasized by the ethereal nature of imagined travels and the hard tack of real foot-to-earth experiences. It’s why so much of this album’s music sounds like it could go flying majestically off to the horizon despite its thick buried roots.
It’s a stunning illustration of the heights to which banjo can strive, but more to the point, it’s a tremendous example of that quality of Jazz that seeks to achieve new plateaus of expression and creativity. Just outstanding.
The album is Self-Produced.
Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from Colorado.