Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jacam Manricks: Cloud Nine

Jacam Manricks (sax)
Cloud Nine (Posi-Tone; 2012)
Sam Yahel (organ)
Adam Rogers (guitar)
Matt Wilson (drums)

I really hadn't listen to much from Jacam Manricks. I had seen his music around town and seen his name a few random times on bills for different clubs. But for some reason it just never stuck. Until I sat and finally listened to his fourth album on Posi-Tone, Cloud Nine. It is simply fantastic and maintains close contemporary themes.

Manricks' compositions are rich and sophisticated. "Cloud Nine" introduces a strong, romantic and very tight set of musicians. Rogers and the always superb, Yahel set a quiet but impulsive tone that sits just underneath Manricks chords.

On "Take The Five Train" Manricks tears across the sheet music with some urgent lines that show that he can really move with the best of his contemporaries. His opening solo could have been the entire song and I would have recommended it. Yahel's accompaniment stays close but never overtakes the leader. The number is a real standout.

"Alibis And Lullabies" features some lovely interchanges with guest trumpeter, David Weiss. It's an idyllic piece with great passages from Yahel that are subtle in nature. The main focus for most listeners will be on Weiss and Manricks. Wilson shines on "Loaf," an uptempo piece with Manricks coming in loud and clear. He has real command of the setting. Here he lets Rogers ride through most of the tune. And Roges delivers with a full bodied performance that  is deep with harmony.

Cloud Nine is an uplifting and emmensely satisfying effort from a sill young and growing talent. Jacam Manricks, while being one to watch is most certainly one to start spreading the news after you've experienced it. Great stuff.

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