Artist: Jason Anick & Jason Yeager
Label: Inner Circle Music
Release Date: 03/10/2017
Friends since they were teenagers, violinist and mandolinist Jason Anick and pianist Jason Yeager draw upon their love of melody while blending what they call “jazz without borders.” Covering a wide range of musical territory with thoughtful writing and engaging playing on each track, the release is aptly titled United.
Building on the creative symbiosis of the co-leaders, different colors were added to the music by saxophonist Clay Lyons, who is featured on “Bird’s Eye View,” the great George Garzone also contributes his colossal saxophone sound among other guests. Indeed, the project’s Berklee ties are profound: recorded by Professor Mark Wessel through a faculty grant at the college’s state-of-the-art studios, the production work is flawless.
A tune by innovative Polish jazz violinist Zbigniew Seifert “Turbulent Power,” is a standout track on the disc. Garzone starts the tune accompanied only by drums. His lines are clear and his tone is robust as he spins off melodic phrases that are musical and rhythmically structured. The group enters to state the melody. Anick’s violin solo is methodic and builds in intensity. His fluid playing is full of ear catching melodies, stylistic diversity and conveys his eminently satisfying musical personality.
“Achi” finds Yeager’s piano vocabulary melding the language of straight-ahead and post-bop jazz, with world rhythms to create a profound musical statement. He really investigates the intricacies of the harmony, while staying in the realm of the jazz piano tradition. During Anick’s solo, we get to hear how Yeager is a very sensitive accompanist, following Anick’s lines and always supporting without distracting.
A fulfilling listen from start to finish, with an essence of unity.