By Suzanne Lorge | Published May 2019
Seattle-based trumpeter Samantha Boshnack draws creative inspiration from the Earth’s most dramatic displays of power on Live In Santa Monica.
Fascinated by the Ring of Fire, the span of volcanoes that hem the entirety of the Pacific Ocean, Boshnack set out to compose musical allegories for the grand seismic movements that have sculpted the Earth’s surface. She carefully avoids mere aural representations here, instead using meticulously crafted post-bop composition to contemplate destruction from an artistic remove. To help summon the desired textures for each composition here, she constellated a new ensemble to cover the distance that lies between her avant-garde quintet and her large symphonic group, B’shnorkestra: a standard rhythm section brightened with horns and tempered with strings. The ensemble finesses Boshnak’s experimental motifs, subtle Latin grooves and contrasting temperatures fluently, even during sudden changes in compositional direction. At times, the group synergy is so disarmingly serene that it’s easy to miss the fire burning underneath.
Live In Santa Monica: Subduction Zone; Kamchatka; Tectonic Plates; Summer That Never Came; Convection Current; Choro; Fuji; Submarine Volcano. (66:40)
Personnel: Samantha Boshnack, trumpet, flugelhorn; Ryan Parrish, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone; Paris Hurley, violin; Lauren Elizabeth Baba, violin, viola; Paul Cornish, piano, keyboard; Nashir Janmohamed, bass; Dan Schnelle, drums.