MICHAEL DOHERTY’S MUSIC LOG
by Michael Doherty
Blue Muse: “It Never Entered My Mind” – Blue Muse is a band based in Jacksonville, Florida, made up of Sarah Lee on tenor saxophone, Steve Strawley on trumpet and flugelhorn, Lance Reed on trombone, Jarrett Carter on guitar, Cody Wheaton on bass, Javian Francis on piano, John Medico on drums, and Jack Miller on drums. They put out their first album in 2015, and have now followed that with It Never Entered My Mind, which features music composed by Wayne Shorter. Half of the album’s six tracks were written by Shorter, including the disc’s opening number, “One By One.” This group delivers a good, lively rendition, which includes a series of excellent leads, each of the musicians getting an opportunity to shine. I especially like the work on piano and saxophone. That’s followed by the album’s title track, written by Rodgers and Hart, with an arrangement by Jarrett Carter. The horns have a wonderfully somber and pensive sound, and, as you might expect, this rendition features some good work on guitar. There is a timeless vibe to this rendition. Blue Muse’s rendition of Horace Silver’s “Nutville” opens with a short, but cool drum solo by John Medico, and features some catchy work on bass and more excellent work on drums throughout, but it is the horn section that dominates this track and guides its course, those instruments singing and flying at times. We then get the second of three Wayne Shorter pieces, “Sweet ‘n’ Sour,” and interestingly it is the guitar that gets the first leads and really sets things in motion. Wonderful stuff there. That’s followed by a good rendition of “Freedom Sound,” which was written by Joe Sample and used as the title track for the debut LP from The Jazz Crusaders. I love the lead on bass in this version. The disc concludes with Wayne Shorter’s “Ping Pong,” this lively rendition hopping and moving at a good pace. This album was released on April 23, 2021.