This Is My Letter to the World
(Innova Recordings - January 24, 2020)
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Kate Amrine's trumpet moans, pulses, and soars in rich tones and melody in this very interesting release of new music.
Her trumpet is the thread that leads us through the noise and cacophony of Gemma Peacocke's Skin, the first track on the album. It plays against the electronic sounds and Roberta Michel's alto flute beautifully.
Amrine composed What We Are Doing To Ourselves, a compelling track that incorporates string playing/noise, voice/spoken word, and flute - elements that at times sound as if they were all arguing with each other in a whirl of music. The words talk about the environment and our relationship to it, the music swirling in and around the libretto.
In Kevin Joest's Thoughts and Prayers, the trumpet and other instruments play off snippets of spoken word - speeches from Obama and others, and arguing voices, all talking about incidents of gun violence. It's both thought-provoking and compelling musically.
My Body, My Choice is another track with an overt message. Composed by Niloufar Nourbaksh, the music mirrors the urgent rhythm of the message. Amrine's Waiting? is more philosophical, playing flute against trumpet and voice in a piece that's cinematic in its emotional scope. It'll happen for you...but will it? the voice asks.
Close Fight (JacobTV) is playful and melodic, revolving around a fighter's story. Gradually, the words and music weave into tight layers of rhythm and melody.
Kate's We Are Women blends a chorus of voices in a repeated refrain against, then giving way to, harmonies between two brassy trumpets. The title track is a piece composed by Jaz Rizetto and set with words by poet Emily Dickenson. It begins with an elegiac trumpet line that blends with spoken word.
It's a captivating mix of storytelling, social consciousness, and inventive jazz, taking the art form into a vital direction.
In the liner notes Kate writes, “As an activist and storyteller, I created this album of different stories and viewpoints that I am excited to share with the world. Many of these pieces bring up issues that are extremely important to everyone and I hope that upon listening, you will act and inspire others to do everything they can to make this world a better place.”
Composers: Gemma Peacocke, Kate Amrine, Kevin Joest, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Jacob TV, inti figgis-vizueta, Ruby Fulton, Jay Rizzetto, Howie Kenty