Chris Pasin’s passion for the work of Ornette Coleman shines on this new album. “Ornettique” is an homage to the jazz great. The album has been called “accessible and entertaining.” That seems accurate. The mix of sounds and vocal elements is enough to make listeners wonder at the inspiration.
Pasin plays trumpet. “Ornettique” is his fourth album as a band leader. While the entire album has much to offer, the songs “Lonely Woman” and “Tomorrow Is the Question” are splendid tracks with which to begin. Pasin is joined by inspired musicians who help him bring the late musician’s work to life.
In addition to Pasin on trumpet, the ensemble includes Karl Berger on vibraphone and piano, Ingrid Sertso vocals, Harvey Sorgen on drums, Michael Bisio on bass and Adam Siegel on alto saxophone.
About Chris Pasin
A native of New York’s upper Hudson Valley, Pasin has a dual degree in classical and jazz trumpet performance at New England Conservatory. He excels in both genres, but he seems to enjoy collaborating with singers. He has worked with Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Wilson, and others.
When Pasin sought other musicians to help him with the current project, he had to look no further than his Hudson Valley environs. Two of his ensemble members are also from the area. With a successful recording career, including an acclaimed 2017 album called “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Pasin is well-suited to work with classic material and make it new for another generation of listeners.
“Ornettiquette” by Chris Pasin
“Tomorrow is the question”
The horns are practically joyful. For the first several measures, they fill the soundscape. At first, the drums are well-behaved until they begin to clatter louder with each note of the saxophone that gets a showcase of sorts early in the song. The song takes elements of classic jazz and skews them just slightly- -there is no easy listening here. The bass takes up a busy motif, and easy works through what feels like a great deal of notes. Later, as the song ends, the horns take on a new motif and again, they are triumphant or joyful, and they stay that way until the song’s end.
This is one of the tracks that employs the vocalist. There is something about Sertso’s delivery and overall performance that makes here vulnerable here. Especially when she sings that she doesn’t want to be “one” (a lonely woman). The soundscape around her vocals are sparse. For a while, it could all be taken as if it is the singer’s breath. The vibraphone and horn fill in the soundscape around the vocals. The plaintive sound of the instrumentation and the singer’s voice give the song an arty depth.
There are jazz albums that make people want to dance. There are other jazz albums that make listeners want to reflect on the traditions the music has come from. Pasin’s work here is the latter.