Album Review: Bluish Tide from Dr. Kristen R. Bromley Quintet
Album: Bluish Tide
Artist: Dr. Kristen R. Bromley Quintet
Label: Kristen R. Bromley Music, LLC
Comprised of original material composed and arranged by guitarist Dr. Kristen R. Bromley, her latest release Bluish Tide is an uplifting jaunt that demonstrates aspects of vintage jazz blues coupled with modern vestiges. Supported by Ray Smith on woodwinds, Steve Erickson on piano, Matt Larson on bass, and Jay Lawrence on drums, the compositions resonate a cozy and intimate vibe that makes the listener’s home to be the setting of choice to absorb her music.
The swirling motion of Bromley’s guitar weaving along “O Great God – How Great Thou Art!,” a traditional Swedish Folk Tune arranged by Bromley, feels soft and flouncy on the senses while Smith’s saxophone puffs out dainty smoke rings along the track The tenderness of their melodic strokes incite a dreamy atmosphere, further achieved by the smooth swinging beats of Larson’s bass and Lawrence’s drums. Delivering a penetrative performance on “Faith Preceded My Miracle,” Erickson’s keys are bold in tone as Bromley sharpens her chords, producing a brisk rippling effect.
The percolating movements of Bromley’s strings strewn across “Between Canyon Walls” have a funky-tilt that rouses a buoyant tremor in Smith’s sax and Erickson’s keys. Their frolicking interaction stirs a mood filled with mirth and smiles, which turns contemplative in “Paint Me a Picture My Love” as the silky strands of Bromley’s guitar laces gracefully along the track, supplemented by the whispering tone of Erickson’s dulcet keys. The skipping beats of “Just Walkin'” has a swing jazz countenance that pairs traditional idioms with modern vestiges, then shifts to a jumping blues strut along “Junkyard Dawg,” promoting a festive spirit.
Bluish Tide is Kristen’s second jazz release as a leader. The album is a mix of swing, funk, and jazz blues. Her devotion to enrich, uplift, enlighten, and inspire audiences through her music and performance is evidenced in her material and arrangements.
Kristen R. Bromley – guitar
Ray Smith – tenor saxophone, alto flute on “Paint Me a Picture My Love”
Steve Erickson – piano
Matt Larson – bass
Jay Lawrence – drums