Friday, June 13, 2014

Andrew Hadro, For Us, The Living

For the present-era we might reflect back on these first years of the millennium and remember all that we've all been through. . . some things quite unexpected and traumatic, other things very promising. And so the music we create as collective beings, as artists and as listeners, you would think would reflect those experiences.

Baritone saxist and music-smith Andrew Hadro came through it like the rest of us. And perhaps the depth of feeling you hear in his music, the lyric and expressive passion does reflect the "having been".

Certainly his album For Us, The Living (Tone Rogue 002) has a concentrated, centered sort of purposefulness to it that may be something "of our time". There are mostly Andrew's compositions represented here, with a few others, not standards, to mix things up.

The band is quite together. Matt Wilson gets the drum chair and he gives us that smart-precise-driving artistry going that adds to any modern jazz session. Daniel Foose has the double-bass slot. He gives dimension to the compositional thrust here and makes a great pair with Matt. Carmen Staaf has a harmonic sense and pianistic facility with the space to express himself.

Andrew gets a baritone sound that can be light and airy as well as forceful and rough-hewn. He is a voice for today. On flute he breaks things up nicely and is no slouch. His writing stays in the mind too.

For us, the living comes out of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which celebrated 150 years in 2013. The great task remaining before us continues to loom, so Lincoln's words remain as crucial as ever.

This album has staying power. Andrew Hadro gives notice. He intends to remain before us in the best sense, for a long time to come. This one has much to recommend it. It promises even greater things from Maestro Hadro! Get it!

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