Album Review: It Never Entered My Mind from Blue Muse
Artist: Blue Muse
A simmering brew of west coast cool and radiant swing, Blue Muse transport listeners into warm, easy listening atmospheres on their latest release It Never Entered My Mind. The vibrant toots of tenor saxophonist Sarah Lee and trumpet/flugelhorn player Steve Strawley trade off solos with Jarrett Carter’s babbling guitar and Javian Francis’s rippling piano keys while bassist Cody Wheaton and drummers John Medico and Jack Miller provide a steady stream of jaunty grooves. The septet comes together to wield mirth and merriment from start to finish.
Lee and Strawley perform a stretch of recurring motifs interspersed with flashy improvised rambles for their reimagination of Horace Silver’s number “Nutville.” The septet lets audiences know from the beginning that they are full of energy and boundless creativity, inclined to go off on amusing excursions spurred by a whim. “One by One,” a piece penned by Wayne Shorter, showcases the band’s sleek repartee. The bright luster emanating from their playing on the number is delightful.
The dulcet waves rolling the title track along demonstrate the septet’s reflective side and reverence for a rarely recorded work written by Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The recording then courses into the bubbly strokes of Wayne Shorter’s “Sweet Sour” where all seven members deserve credit for making the track a stirring arrangement. The relaxed atmosphere of “Freedom Sound,” a tune by Joe Sample, brandishes balmy aesthetics, as “Ping Pong” infuses swizzling horns and thrusting keys that make for a west coast cool jazz-inspired fandango.
Founded by Sarah Lee in 2013, Blue Muse give jazz standards a refreshing twist and a jolt of new energy. They create an atmosphere laden with merriment and mirth that appeals to audiences from a wide spectrum.
Jarrett Carter, guitar
Cody Wheaton, bass
Javian Francis, piano
John Medico, drums
Jack Miller, drums
Sarah Lee, tenor sax
Steve Strawley, trumpet & flugelhorn