Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Natalie Cressman - Unfolding

 A promising debut album by a young trombonist - vocalist accompanied by Secret Garden featuring Dutch bass player Ruben Samama
Hans Koert

As the editor of this Keep (it) Swinging blog I’m invited to listen and write about recently released jazz albums – Everybody who loves jazz music knows  that the traditional shiny silver cd record disc will become a collector’s item, like the LP-record from the 1980s and the 78rpm shellacs from the first half of the 20th century ……  Music is stuff to downloadbits and bytes as MP3-files ….. and for the younger generation physical disc are old fashioned - maybe collectable, but no longer business  …… Will that mean, that a reviewer of cd-discs, like I try to be, will die out.

Natalie Cressman (photo courtesy: Emma Lauren)

Cd-records, however, are still produced and still music is released as hard cd copies, also by young promising musicians ……. In September 2012 I was asked to review a debut album by a young, then 18-years young, talented piano player Joe Alterman, entitled Give Me The Simple Life, which surprised me .. I even labeled this album as one of the best debut albums I’d heard this year ….. Now, two month later, I’m listening to an album, entitled Unfolding, made by a pretty young girl, according to the picture on the cover -  part of an instrument suggests she must be a trombonistNatalie Cressman  …….. An album, which confused me ……. What’s happening? …… A new generation of talented jazz musicians has born?  A generation of Young Lions, or Young Jazz Cats, referring to a Dutch record entitled .. Presenting the Young Dutch Jazz Cats  released by Quintessence fifteen years ago introducing talented (Dutch) students that had graduate in jazz music?

Unfolding - Natalie Cressman & Secret Garden ( cover: photo courtesy:  Emma Lauren)

Natalie Cressman, 20 years young, was born and raised in a musical family. He mother is a well known Brazilian vocalist, Sandy Cressman, while her father, Jeff Cressman, is a gifted trombonist, who plays in bands like Santana.  ….. and in highs school once I was getting serious about the trombone, Natalie remembers:  He had me sit in with Santana. It was really amazing growing up playing next to him.  Nowadays, when my dad can’t make a gig, he recommends me for the job, …… ( Source: Dan MacIntosh – Indie Music).  As a young kid she was, as so much young girls at that age, a passionate ballet dancer, but when an injury kept her off the barre for some months, she became fascinated by the trombone …….

 Natalie Cressman (center) with her band: Secret Garden

As a young adult she studied trombone at several conservatory and even earned a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Although she performed in dozen groups during her studies, she debuted with her own band, Secret Garden, all young colleagues – friends she met in New York at her conservatory: Trumpet player Ivan Rosenberg ( his father is Ornette Coleman’s regular guitar player) – Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, tenor player who leads a band with former mentioned Ivan Rosenberg; drummer Jake Goldbas, Dutch bass player Ruben Samama, I heard with the Dutch award winning tenor saxophonist Yuri Honing and Pascal LeBeouf, the senior of the band, who plays the piano.

Ruben Samama ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Natalie Cressman is a gifted trombone player and singer, but also a composer. There are but few woman trombone players …… Natalie was inspired by Melba Liston, who played with Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones during the 1950s and who had her own bands up to the mid 1980s when a stroke finished her active playing …… since that time she arranged and composed. Natalie was vocally inspired by Sarah Vaughan, but most of all, Joni MitchellI won’t be labeled to be solely a jazz musician, she told Dan MacIntosh in an interview: …… especially these days the word “jazz” can mean just about anything.  ….. I think studying jazz gives you an extensive set of skills that prepares you for playing one style the rest of my life. I have such an eclectic taste that I think my career will reflect my love for other music besides jazz. ( Source: Dan MacIntosh – Indie Music)

 Natalie Cressman ( photo courtesy: Emmie Lauren)

Her album Unfolding contains nine tracks, from the traditional Fats Waller tune Honeysuckle Rose standard, which turns into a moody R&B seduction up to her own compositions like Flip, Skylight and Echo, to list some, in which you can learn her fascination for music from Brasil. One of the highlights of the album is Mingus’ composition Goodbye Pork Pie Hat in which she shows to be inspired by vocalist Joni Mitchell. One of the tunes I probably liked  the final track That Kind the best …..

Listen to Flip as played by Natalie Cressman and her Secret Garden in a concert at the Jazz Gallery April 2012

Whow – another promising talented young jazz musician has entered the world jazz scene – Keep an eye on her - … and don’t forget to listen to this great debut-album Unfolding. Visit Natalie Cressman's website for more info how to order a copy.

Hans Koert
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Unfolding: the debut album of a young San Francisco-raised  trombonist - vocalist and composer accompanied by her Secret Garden.  Another young promissing jazz musician ..... A Not-So-Hidden Treasure Revealed: Unfolding.
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