Edward Simon – Sorrows And Triumphs (2018) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Edward Simon – Sorrows And Triumphs (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:11:11 minutes | 1,39 GB | Genre:  Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © Sunnyside

Venezuelan-born pianist and composer Edward Simon recorded for the third time with his group Afinidad, a quartet co-founded in 2000 with altoist David Binney, which also includes bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade. Simon wrote the two bodies of work that comprises “Sorrows & Triumphs” with the musical qualities of his peers in mind, and also invited special guests to further underscore his sophisticated arrangements. You’ll hear guitarist Adam Rogers, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, percussionists Rogerio Boccato and Luis Quintero, as well as the chamber quintet Imani Winds.

Pianist Edward Simon – a native of Venezuela who has made a name for himself over decades in America as a jazz pianist, bandleader and composer-arranger, along with being a Guggenheim Fellow and member of the hit SFJAZZ Collective – presents his latest album, Sorrows and Triumphs. he three tracks on Sorrows and Triumphs drawn from the original title suite – “Equanimity,” “Rebirth” and “Triumphs” – feature Afinidad with Parlato, Rogers and Baccato, the compositions inspired by Simon’s studies of Buddhism over two decades. Afinidad first performed the “Sorrows and Triumphs” suite in 2009 at Walton Performing Arts Center in Arkansas and later at New York’s Jazz Standard, with performances broadcast on NPR’s Jazz Set. “The music isn’t narrative in any way,” Simon explains. “But it was inspired intuitively by the effects Buddhist practice has had on me, the perspective and the little bits of enlightenment that come every day. I wrote my own words for ‘Triumphs,’ but Gretchen has also studied Buddhism, so when I asked her to contribute lyrics to ‘Rebirth,’ she knew exactly how to convey the message. Gretchen is such a special singer, who has the gift making the most of small details to expressive effect. She knows that just a whisper can have a big impact. As for the compositions, I wanted them to bring joy to the listener, to be direct and accessible, with singable melodies.”

The album’s tracks taken from the suite “House of Numbers” – “Uninvited Thoughts,” “Triangle,” “Chant” and “Venezuela Unida” – feature Afinidad with Quintero and award-winning classical group Imani Winds. The ballad highlight “Chant” also includes words and vocals by Parlato. Simon’s compositions explore the cross-cultural resonance of numerology, as well as the musical possibilities that arise when jazz and classical artists combine. The music draws on traditions from Europe, Africa, North America and South America, blending composed structures with sections for improvisation; the numbers 3, 4, 5 and 7 – and their cultural and musical implications – form the basis of the suite’s four pieces. The composer explains: “The number 3, for instance, can suggest triple meters, such as 3/4, 6/4 or 6/8, which in turn can suggest certain grooves, particularly in the music of South America. It can also point to the use of triads and three-bar phrases. Above all, the number 3 points to the even distribution of forces into three equal parts, which suggests balance – an ideal in nature and life.” Afinidad and Imani Winds unveiled House of Numbers in 2016 at California’s University of the Pacific.

01 – Incessant Desires
02 – Uninvited Thoughts
03 – Equanimity
04 – Triangle
05 – Chant
06 – Venezuela Unida
07 – Triumphs
08 – Rebirth
09 – Beauty of Space

Edward Simon – piano & keyboards
David Binney – alto saxophone
Scott College – bass
Brian Blade – drums
Gretchen Parlato – vocals
Adam Rogers – guitars
Rogelio Boccato – percussion 3 & 7
Luis Quintero – percussion 2, 4 & 6

Imani Winds:
Valerie Coleman -flute
Toyin Spellman-Diaz – oboe
Monica Ellis – bassoon
Mark Dover – clarinet
Jeff Scott – French horn