Triptych by Justin Vasquez
This week I’m suggesting Triptych, the first release in a series of albums from saxophonist Justin Vasquez. I like this album because it offers influences from a variety of genres including classical, rhythm and blues, folk and country. One might think that such a mix would be unmanageable, but at just 26 years-old, Justin combines them with the approach and originality of a veteran composer. He states that as he wrote the title track, he was “thinking of a song that was constantly evolving without a cyclical form”. I’d say that’s the perfect description of the entire album, which certainly achieves his goal of “telling a story from exposition to conclusion”.
My favorites on the album are Fields, End of the Day, and Justin’s cover of the classic standard Stella by Starlight. Accompanying Vasquez on the album are Aaron Parks on piano, Adam Rogers on guitar, Orlando Le Fleming on bass, Clarence Penn on drums, Gregoire Maret on harmonica and vocalist Gretchen Parlato. After hearing the 8 tracks on this album, I’m anxious to hear Justin Vasquez’s second release of this project. You all can see him on BET Studio Jamz with Marcus Miller, Terrence Blanchard, Joe Sample and Marilyn Scott in September. In the meantime, check out this preview of his music and pick up Triptych from Amazon.