By John Murph | Published October 2021
Just when you thought pandemic-related albums were becoming downers, Renee Rosnes offers the perfect elixir with Kinds Of Love.
It’s not that she skirts the troubling aspects of the past year-and-a-half. “Evermore,” a ballad on which she delivers an elegiac improvisational melody against Carl Allen’s suspenseful cymbal work and Christian McBride’s pensive bass counterpoint, comes across like a prayer in one’s darkest hour, especially when Chris Potter’s tenor saxophone erupts into a howling lament.
Rosnes offsets those pensive moments, however, with effervescent compositions such as the opening cut, “Silk.” Dedicated to pianist Donald Brown, the piece stomps so much defiant optimism as Rosnes and Potter state writhing, quicksilver motifs in unison as the rhythm section pushes the momentum with almost manic aplomb. After Potter unfurls a vigorous tenor saxophone solo, Rosnes hammers one of her most forceful improvisations on record as her intricate lines crisscross in calligraphic sophistication.
The album’s most bewitching compositions, though, are “In Time Like Air,” a Brazilian-tinged song that prowls and flowers with cinematic grace; “Like Does Not Wait (A Vida Não Espera),” another Brazilian-inflected gem, marked by Rogério Boccato’s lithe percussion rhythm and Rosnes and Potter’s labyrinthine improvisations; and “Kinds Of Love,” the marvelous title-track that brims with so much haunting lyricism and dramatic ebb and flow.
If anyone needs a joyous soundtrack for reflection and celebration as we hopefully exit from this horrific pandemic, this is it.
Kinds Of Love: Silk; Kinds Of Love; In Time Like Air; The Golden Triangle; Evermore; Passing Jupiter; Life Does Not Wait (A Vida Não Espera); Swoop; Blessings In A Year Of Exile. (56:16)
Personnel: Renee Rosnes, piano and Fender Rhodes; Christian McBride, bass; Carl Allen, drums; Chris Potter, tenor and soprano saxophones, flute; Rogério Boccato, percussion.
Ordering Info: smokesessionsrecords.com