Aug 25 2016
The Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble is both a collective of musicians and a label documenting music from the Pacific Northwest. Much of it lives on the dividing lines between genres, borrowing generously and modulating the ratios so that a cohesive sound makes identification of influence problematic. Live at Alberta Street Pub is a nice synthesis of that approach, as well as an example of how complex constructions are no obstacle to making an album that’s tuneful as hell. Catherine Feeny‘s intoxicating voice has a smoky presence that springs to life with the suddenness of embers catching fire. She and drummer Chris Johnedis are accompanied by a quintet of wind instruments… notably PJCE honcho, trumpeter Douglas Detrick. It’s the way the five-pack of brass and reeds weave the harmony through the tight crevices of voice and drums that directly addresses the album’s appeal. Well, that and when the pulsing of saxophones creates an undercurrent of tension that sets the backdrop for a series of gorgeous melodic sighs from trumpet and trombone. The joy of the album is discovered often quite suddenly, in sudden surges of intensity set afire by melody.
Your album personnel: Catherine Feeny (vocals, guitar, ukulele), Chris Johnedis (drums), Douglas Detrick (trumpet), Lars Campbell (trombone), Lee Elderton (soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Mary-Sue Tobin (tenor sax) and Pete Petersen (baritone sax).
Released on the PJCE label.
Listen to more album tracks at the label’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Portland, Oregon scene.