Nov 9 2016
On his solo project Layers, saxophonist Jared Sims overdubs an array of wind instruments for a series of nifty renditions of classic tunes.
Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady” has a nice solemn tone, lacking none of the warmth. The blues are prominent on the renditions of all three Hank Williams tunes, and the standout is “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” and its infusion of a zydeco influence. Sims takes Monk’s “Reflections” and gives it the treatment of a by-the-numbers ballad, whereas his take on Mingus’s “Duke’s Choice” is a deft use of the overdubbing techniques to give a winding staircase sound to a thoughtful, step-by-step motion.
There’s three Sims originals on the recording. The lively “Stone Cold” has got plenty of heart, but it’s the soulful “Sax Preachin'” and “Mexico Ocean” where the feel really comes out on the tunes.
The wild-card track on Layers is an intriguing rendition of McCoy Tyner’s “Contemplation.” Sims gives it that same melancholy tone, and with a tempo that mimics a heartbeat at rest, patient and calm and collected.
One of those under-the-radar albums that deserves to get some time in the spotlight.
Your album personnel: Jared Sims (alto, baritone & soprano saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, and flute).
The album is Self-Produced.
Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Morgantown, West Virginia scene.