Jun 25 2017
Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album: Jeremy Udden – “Plainville”
Sunday morning is when the serenity comes down. Sunday morning is the cocoon from the heavy exhaustion of too much Saturday night fun. Sunday morning is when the city agrees to use its inside voice. Sunday morning is when a hush settles in over the land. It is a time for sitting still and listening to quiet music and silently praying the aspirin and coffee do something to stop your head from exploding. Drama and stress are strictly forbidden on Sunday morning.
Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album is just for you, for times just like these. If you possess the freakish compulsion to get-up-and-go when the clock strikes Sunday morning, this music is not for you. Go and listen to a Spotify EDM playlist or something. But whatever you decide, just do it quietly and far away from those of us who appreciate the true solemn nature of a Sunday morning.
On alto sax, Jeremy Udden conjures up the tranquility you desire when sitting out on your back porch when it’s just you and nature and a cat dozing nearby. The Massachusetts native sends out melodies like a stiff, cool breeze on a Summer morning… airy, fluid, and possessing an unmistakable presence. His 2009 release Plainville wasn’t his debut, but it was his first dedicated foray into the type of folk-jazz that has signified his recording career since. It also signaled his singular concoction of serenity perfect for a Sunday morning jazz album.
Occasionally the album’s temperature spikes, but even with some electric guitar heat on “Curbs,” it behaves as the precursor to the gently comforting sweetness of “Christmas Song,” amplifying its comforting effect. And though “695” kicks up the tempo a notch, the delivery of the melody transmits the solemn tone that guides the entire recording. Brandon Seabrook‘s banjo goes a long way to dictating the strength of the folk influence, and drummer RJ Miller has a talent for crafting a serene ambiance (ie, his 2013 release Ronald’s Rhythm). Keyboardist Pete Rende and bassist Eivind Opsvik cast shadows everywhere by working the darker tones, and the way this complements the brighter tones of Udden’s alto sax goes a long way to explaining how dynamic this tranquil recording ultimately becomes.
You need this album today, right now.
- Artist-Title: Jeremy Udden – Plainville
- Personnel: Jeremy Udden (alto & soprano saxophones), Pete Rende (organ, Fender Rhodes), Brandon Seabrook (banjo, guitar), Eivind Opsvik (bass) and RJ Miller (drums).
- Proper Use: 1) Sitting on that back porch in communion with nature, 2) Watching cats peacefully doze the afternoon away in a patch of sunlight.
- Additional notes: May be utilized as a soundtrack to fireflies cutting through the darkness on a Summer eve.
Released in 2009 on Fresh Sound New Talent.
Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Soundcloud page.
Music from Brooklyn.
Available at: Amazon
June 25, 2017 @ 8:10 pm
This is an amazing album and one I desperately need to revisit. I like the second one more – “If the Past Seems So Bright.” I always could see Jeremy touring opening for Wilco.
June 25, 2017 @ 8:23 pm
One thing I’ve always respected about Udden’s folk-jazz recordings are how each has an individual personality while keeping to the same overall sound. “If the Past Seems So Bright” added a nice bit of edge to the affair. I really enjoyed that one, too. My favorite is “Belleville Project” with Nicolas Moreaux. Moreaux and Udden are really birds-of-a-feather. Moreaux’s “Fall Somewhere” would really appeal to anyone who likes Udden’s Plainville recordings. Saxophonists Bill McHenry and Olivier Boge join Moreaux on that one. And, agree, I think the Wilco crowd would go bonkers over Udden’s Plainville as show opener.