|Despite the adventurous nature of this date, beauty is the prime component, not just on the three lovely ballads – McCoy Tyner's "You Taught My Heart to Sing" (with lyrics by Sammy Cahn), Bill Engvick and Alec Wilder's "The Lady Sings the Blues" and the touching duet with Cables, "Young and Foolish" – but throughout the entire album.
Canadian composer/pianist/bassist Don Thompson's heartfelt "Lament for John Coltrane," with its gentle modal vamp, provides an ideal setting for Bartz' exploratory alto sax, much in the spirit of the man who so profoundly influenced him. The Coltrane connection is also evidenced with the inclusion of "I Wish I Knew," which was given a most beautiful interpretation on the incomparably saxophonist's gorgeous "Ballads" album.
Here, the somewhat neglected Harry Warren/Mack Gordon tune is given a delightfully swinging treatment, showcasing Jay's fine scat-singing as well as Bartz' sinuous soprano and Cables' tasteful piano.
Cables also contributes "I Told You So," a buoyant samba that opens with Jay's percussive vocalizing, enhanced by a subtle use of digital delay, a process used very briefly, but to great effect on her own "Random Mondays," which like her other composition, "Let It Go," utilizes the poetry of the immortal e.e. cummings.
These two pieces are combined with two other works – the former with a collective improvisation with Granelli and Cox entitled "Three Free;" and the latter with Granelli's "Raga," a free-time sound collage – not so much as medley, but rather as two-movement "suites," blending perfectly amidst the group's synergy.
With "Brooklyn 2000," Jay Clayton takes another step forward on her most expressive and personal musical journey.