By Robert Ham | Published June 2021
This debut by Steven Feifke Big Band, a fixture of the New York jazz scene, feels like a pushback against playlist-centric consumption. As a luxurious whole, Kinetic’s extended solos and unhurried pace are decadent, and Feifke’s original material and arrangements are worth a listen.
The album is at its most vibrant when Feifke is applying the big band aesthetic to modern jazz, especially on the back half of the album. Having set the stage with more traditional swingers, he stretches out on “Midnight Beat,” a snaky r&b-inspired jam capped off by a cheeky solo from bassist Dan Chmielinski, and the rolling grooves of “Nica’s Dream.”
There’s also an emphasis on the collective with this material. Feifke allows himself few piano solos, preferring to push others into the spotlight. Saxophonist Sam Dillon adds a Sonny Rollins-like haze to “Closure,” and trumpeter Benny Benack III attacks his two solo turns.
This big band is clearly having a blast working as one, giving this whole album an air of infectious joy.
Kinetic: Kinetic: Kinetic; Unveiling Of A Mirror; The Sphinx; Until The Real Thing Comes Along; Word Travels Fast; Wollongong; Nica’s Dream; On The Street Where You Live; Midnight Beat; Closure. (67:11)
Personnel: Personnel: Steven Feifke, piano; Andrew Gould, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Alexa Tarantino, alto saxophone, flute; Alex LoRe, alto saxophone; Lucas Pino, tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute; Sam Dillon, tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute; Andrew Gutauskas, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Max Darche, John Lake, Benny Benack III, Gabriel King Medd, trumpet, flugelhorn; Robert Edwards, Jeffery Miller, Armando Vergara, trombone; Jennifer Wharton, bass trombone; Alex Wintz, guitar; Dan Chmielinski, bass; Ulysses Owens Jr., Bryan Carter, Jimmy Macbride, Joe Peri, drums; Veronica Swift, vocals.
Ordering Info: Ordering info: outsideinmusic.com