Blue Cranes - Voices CD

Portland jazz ensemble Blue Cranes has long established itself as a forward-thinking entity. The quintet, made up of Reed Wallsmith on alto saxophone, Joe Cunningham on tenor saxophone, Rebecca Sanborn on keyboards, Jon Shaw on bass, and Ji Tanzer on drums, is steeped in the history and sound of the artists that came before them, but too curious and creative to simply replicate the past. Blue Cranes wants to explore.
That idea has never felt more true than with the group’s fifth and most ambitious album to date: Voices. For the first time, the band chose to record a suite of songs in collaboration with vocalists. Calling on an array of friends and artists that they have long admired—all with connections to the band’s hometown of Portland, Oregon—Blue Cranes sought to bring new energy to their work.
A key aspect of Voices is how Blue Cranes were able to blend elements of improvisation into the songwriting process and the structures of these songs. Opening track “Brave Little Girl” was created entirely in the moment, including singer Holland Andrews extemporizing their vocal turn using key phrases plucked from a poem by Nico Alvarado. And the song “Ursula” was built around stream-of-consciousness singing from Laura Gibson. She initially sang some lines as a reaction to a bounding saxophone melody from Cunningham and Wallsmith, and then the group created an entirely new song structure to match Gibson’s vocals, pulling in The Devil Makes Three’s Cooper McBean on banjo. The resulting combination is intoxicating and spiritually uplifting.
The flow and pace of everything concerning Voices has been an intentionally slow one. Blue Cranes took its time with this material, shepherding it with care as the five members of the group focused on one track at a time, making sure that they were working with the right voices and people each step of the way. Their patience and caution was clearly worth the extra effort as Voices is a huge creative leap forward for Blue Cranes and the kind of album that will help continue their journey beyond Portland’s city limits and beyond the limits of easy to digest genre descriptors. Join in the chorus.”
  • LabelBlue Cranes Music
  • UPC678277273870
Your Price $12.00

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