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Matthew Ruddick

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Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Saturday, 06 November 2021 00:53

Duncan Fraser Septet - Soundscapes of Manhattan

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The perfect post-pandemic Christmas album.

There are two things many of us have missed in the last eighteen months or so and now Duncan Fraser brings you both in spades just in time for Christmas - Soundscapes of Manhattan gives a sense of a city few of us have been able to visit in a truly beautiful musical setting.

Soundscapes of Manhattan features a collection of original compositions by Fraser, all performed by a rich top line including Fraser’s trumpet, trombonist Sam Sankey with Ronan Perrett on alto sax and Wesley Frankel on tenor and soprano saxes and clarinet. Rhythm section support and embellishment comes from Rob Brockway on piano, double bassist Huw V. Williams and drummer Luke Bainbridge. Individually, these are outstanding musicians who are perpetually busy in the UK jazz scene. Together, they are magnificent force.

Fraser unashamedly takes his inspiration from the Big Apple: “I wanted to recreate the feelings and atmosphere I experienced in  those places within the music. I hope people can listen to a tune and hear what I see.”

Soundscapes of Manhattan features eight original compositions by Fraser (one appearing twice in different formats), plus his arrangement of Coltrane’s Central Park West. This beautiful ballad has tight, quasi-big band voicing before each member of the ensemble takes their own shot at Trane’s masterpiece.

Listen to Spirit of The Vanguard here:

In the hopes that Christmas 2021 might be significantly more enjoyable than last year, I urge you to treat a loved one (or perhaps yourself) to this soundtrack that will take you right to the vibrancy that is New York City.

Read 500 times Last modified on Saturday, 06 November 2021 15:30

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