Whether alto saxophonist Amanda Sedgwick is leading her own Quartet or arranging for her Septet, “Delightness”, she proves what an adventurous mind she has. In her extremely gifted fellow musicians she knows what each of them is capable of and she provides all the musical stimulation that can bring out the best in them.
A new recording by Amanda Sedgwick should be accompaniedby a 21-gun salute as it is not in her natureto record prolifically. In fact this is only the third CDunder her own name since 1996. In 2004 she recordedher second CD “Reunion” for Touché Music and nowfive years later we have this CD. It is indeed a treat tohear Amanda’s powerfully intensive approach to thealto saxophone. It is one that has matured and mellowedover the years to become one of the most recognisableon the Swedish jazz scene.
Whether Amanda is leading her own Quartet or arrangingher very personal sounds for her Septet, “Delightness”,she proves what an adventurous mind shehas. While retaining all the traditional values laiddown by many of her famous predecessors such asCharlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Stitt andJackie McLean, she has a forward-looking approachmore in common with her contemporaries KennyGarrett and Steve Wilson. Although professing to appreciatethe art of simplicity and not over-intellectualisingjazz music, this does not in any way limit herability to swing hard and use all the colours that areavailable harmonically in the jazz of today.
In her fellow musicians she knows what each of themis capable of and she provides all the musical stimulationthat can bring out the best in them, thus provingher capacity as a leader. The members of her twogroups, the Quartet and the Septet are well-provenmusicians of the highest calibre who play with controlledabandon when needed and smouldering intensityin the quieter moments.
As a composer, Amanda likes to write music that willchallenge her own saxophone playing and lead her intonewer territory. She often opens her compositionswith bass figures that she uses simply, either as an effectiveintroduction (as in “Bouncin’ With Bud” - thebop classic by Bud Powell) or as an integral part of thewhole piece (“Sand Storm”, “Heedless Headless”). Butshe also has an ear for the beauty that standard tunescan offer in the form of ballads. Note her arrangementof “I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry” wherethe other horns (note especially Karin Hammar’s beautifultrombone on the bridge) provide an emotionalbackdrop to Amanda’s blues-enriched statement of themelody. The other ballad on this album is “DedicatedTo You”, a standard associated with many fine performers,particularly Billy Eckstine and the Johnny Hartman-John Coltrane collaboration. It goes through aseries of modulations (from the key of A flat to C to Eflat and back to A flat) that are ideal for Amanda’s fullydeveloped melodic and harmonic ear, and Amandatakes full advantage of these possibilities to weave amajestic solo. Underneath, the rhythm section of DanielTilling, Martin Sjöstedt and Moussa Fadera followsensitively every twist and turn in Amanda’s performance.
A word here must go to the energy-packed playing ofAnders Bergcrantz, a trumpeter who for many yearshas been a firm favourite with not only the Swedishpublic and critics but who also is internationally recognisedfor carrying the torch of Freddie Hubbard forwardwhile retaining his own strong identity. Alsoadding colour to the septet is Renè Martinez on percussion.Renè follows in the tradition of his late father,the legendary conga player Sabu, who spent manyyears in Sweden.
Both groups bear the stamp of the leader AmandaSedgwick who hereby offers us her third CD to enjoymany times over.
AMANDA’S COMMENTS ABOUT HER ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS:
This is about all those things that we may want badly but that are not always so good for us.
This is a variation on Joe Henderson’s tune “Recorda Me”, which means “remember me” in Spanish. “Te Recuerdo” means “I/we remember you”.
Listening to the playback of the recording of this piece, which was untitled, it sounded to me like a sand storm.
This tune was originally written for a children’s show about ghosts and vampires, and portrays a beheaded man running about heedlessly. The theme is also somewhat of a sketch, thereby “head-less”.
This was written after a farewell at an airport.
I wrote this when I was feeling happy to be alive and enjoying life. The title is a kind of word play combining “delight” and “sweetness”, or perhaps a shortening of the word “delightfulness”.
Translation: Dave Castle
God, for every day alive and for the wonderful gift of music.
Moussa, Daniel, Martin, Karin, Anders and Renè, for contributing your highly skilled crafts and great personalities to this project. I am truly fortunate to have you with me.
Laila Gavatin at Touché Music, for believing in me and for making this record a reality.
Vincent Herring, for your generous support and invaluable advice.
Kenneth Schlaich at Jonas Näslund AB, for always keeping my horn in such good shape!
My family, Mom, Dad, Gabriel, Cecilia, Peter, Sofia, Therese, Erik, Edvard. You keep me going.
- Fat Lady [4.12]
- Lethally Delicious [5:50]
- Te Recuerdo [4:34]
- Bounin' With Bud [4:19]
- I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry [6:27]
- Sand Storm [4:50]
- Down Though The Years [5:40]
- Heedless Headless [2:08]
- Avenue D [7:03]
- Dedicated To You [5:19]
- Delightness [8:01]
Total time 58:56
Repertoire and arrangements: Amanda Sedgwick
Recorded at: the Swedish Broadcasting Corp. Studio 4, Stockholm, Sweden EU, January 15 and 16, 2009
Recording and mixing: Åke Linton
Mastering: Claes Persson
Photo: Patrik Cederman
Cover design: Jenny Eiserman
Manufactured by: Dicentia
Produced by: Amanda Sedgwick and Laila & Charles Gavatin's Foundation for Jazz Music.