BMAN’S BLUES REPORT
I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (September 24, 2021), Re: Connection, from Greg Loughman and it’s fresh and inventive. Opening with Disunion, a song originally titled Darling Nellie Grey when written by Benjamin Hanby during the civil war era about a runaway slave pining for his love. In 1915, Ralph Chapin wrote lyrics for this song then called The Commonwealth of Toil. Loughman has reinterpreted this tune, setting up the composition with an extended acoustic bass intro, adding to it Nathan Kay on trumpet, Dan Elbert on alto sax, Anton Derevyenko on tenor sax, Matt Stubbs on clarinet, Anastassiya Petrova on piano, Tyson Jackson on drums and Max O’Rourke on guitar, weaving in dramatic themes and interpretations on what sums up like an epic theme song. Isolation uses a similar structure of Loughman’s acoustic bass line to set the stage on which this track is built. Lead lines by Kay on trumpet and Stubbs on clarinet further the theme with compliments by Elbert and Derevyenko into a loosely woven fabric of melody. Very interesting. With a really cool drum line by Jackson and piano work by Petrova, semi funky, From All Sides is a full blown jam. With a layering theme of one instrument echoing the other and the tight drum line of Jackson this track takes shape. With piano and drums as the constant, the musicians grow slowly apart and more loosely connected and then back together for a solid conclusion. With a slight melancholy overtone, Grow is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Petrova’s piano, the dominant pace setter on the track slowly builds with the gradual addition of Loughman, Kay, Elbert and Derevyenko. Nice lead lines by Kay, Elbert and Derevyenko add just the right contrast. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Horizon featuring Faris Ishaq on fey, an end played flute instrument. With tight drum and piano rhythms, Kay’s trumpet melody, Nadia Washington on vocal, Jerry Leake on percussion and O’Rourke working the counter rhythms, this is a strong closer.