FIVE PLAY receives a winning review from Lemon Wire

Five Play’s new live recording showcases players’ talents

Audiences familiar with Diva Jazz will appreciate the sound and verve of Five Play. According to the ensembles’ members, Diva Jazz is the “mothership” for Five Play. The all-female ensemble brings to life classic jazz sounds that on the live recording really puts all audience members in the best seats. Five Play’s “Live from The Firehouse Stage” is a vibrant recording that captures the group’s ability to engage audiences through the performance of classic-sounding tracks. Songs such as “T-Bone Special” and “Nancy With the Laughing Face” show off the group’s superior jazz chops and ability to have fun while playing.

About Five Play

Like Diva Jazz, Five Play is powered by a deep sense of swing and tradition, energized and elevated by original compositions and arrangements. The members of Five Play have been playing together in various ensembles for more than 13 years. As a group, Five Play released a previous live recording, “Live at The Deer Head Inn” in 2015.

The recording of the group’s latest live album at The Firehouse Stage has special meaning for Five Play. The ensemble has a fanbase and a host of family and friends near the venue’s location in Johnson City, New York. This lends them a supportive atmosphere in which to try out new music.

Five Play: “Live at The Firehouse Stage”

The album is comprised of 10 songs that will make audiences re-appreciate certain aspects of jazz. Whether it is the focus on a particular instrument, such as the bass, or the way blues inflections play nicely with jazz tunes. Hearing the live audience appreciate the musicians’ work is nice, too. It gives the recording a “you-are-here” feel.

“T-Bone Special” by Five Play

Considered a “hard-swinging shuffle,” “T-Bone Special” has a late-night bluesy feel that is complemented by solos. The song retains its energy throughout. A fervent piano and swinging horns are driven by a persistent bass. The saxophone solo is dizzying and much-appreciated by the live crowd. The sound is fun and listeners might find themselves on the edge of their seats waiting for the next sound showcase. The trumpet solo is not to be missed, either. The piano showcase is bouncy and energized. Also of note is the bass showcase. The song embodies fun and sets up listeners’ expectations for the rest of the album.

“Nancy With the Laughing Face” by Five Play

The song is the opposite of “T-Bone Special” in some ways. Right away, audiences notice that the song is slower and more solemn-toned. If “T-Bone Special” is the song that gets everyone on the dancefloor for a fast-paced shuffle, then “Nancy With the Laughing Face” is the end of the night couples’ dance tune.

The instrumentation is almost lush. Again, solos accent the overall soundscape. The drumming here is beautifully nuanced. A kind of percussive trill gently plays against the long notes of the horns and the melancholy bass. Eventually, the song resolves beautifully.

The entire album, “Live at The Firehouse Stage” is a lovely escape into what jazz is all about. The soundscapes invite listeners to relax and appreciate the music. It is clear from their approach that the musicians love what they do. “Live at The Firehouse Stage” is an album worth having.

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