Album Reviews

Chris Ziemba

Manhattan Lullaby

Artist:     Chris Ziemba

Album:     Manhattan Lullaby

Label:     Outside in Music

Release Date:     03/11/2016


If ever a creative work was rightly titled, pianist Chris Ziemba’s impressive and expressive debut album Manhattan Lullaby certainly fits the bill. Spearheading the new millennial jazz movement, these eight lengthy, tasty, bop vamps and imaginings (seven by Ziemba) fully capture the allure and elixirs of the world’s greatest cosmopolis – East Side, West Side, shadows, light, smoke clinging to your hair, kisses crossing lips in the park – this is the music you find on the side streets where you enter in from one alley and exit from another. In “Escher’s Loop” Ziemba gives his keenly perceptive and highly cognizant band mates – pace setting drummer Jimmy Macbride, eloquent bassist Hans Glawischnig, and colorist alto sax and bass clarinetist Michael Thomas – plenty of room within these finely structured unfoldings to pull into the music their singular metro narratives. “Wandering,” with its graceful, street walking tempo, reveals inhabitants and tourists marveling at the scope and scape of the city at their feet. The lushly nuanced title serenade invokes all the mood, groove and wonder that brings the world together within the New York environs. With its swirl of chatter between Ziemba and Thomas, “The Road Less Traveled” still has a destination: Manhattan Lullaby. I strongly suggest you don’t let this one get by you.

– Mike Jurkovic

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