Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Jared Sims Change of Address
Change of Address
An educator (currently Director of Jazz Studies at West Virginia University) who plays multiple reeds, Jared Sims as a performer focuses on the baritone sax. The title of this album reflects his move from Boston to West Virginia where he went to school. On this he is joined by Steve Fell on guitar; Nina Ott on organ, Chris Lopes on bass and Jared Seabrook on drums for a program of 7 tunes where he gets to display his rugged, energetic playing on seven originals.
The album takes off with the bouncy, funky groove groove of "Offer For Wilson, with Ott's greasy organ setting the mood for Sims to join in with his brawny attack. It is followed by "Seeds of Shihab," a tribute to one of his influences, baritone great Sahib Shihab, where his authoritative soloing is supported by a simple backing with Fell then taking a blues-inflected solo contrasts with the dark bottom sound of the leader's baritone. The soul-jazz flavor of this recording continues with "Ghost Guest 1979," which showcases guitarist Fell who employs a number of effects on his solo before Sims barrels in on the baritone. "Leap of Faith" is a tone poem with electronics creating aural textures that is the foundation for Sims' playing. "Forest Hills," named after a Boston neighborhood, is a spirited number with Fell's bluesy guitar making judicious use of tonal variations and effects. The opening to "Tower of Fazenda" establishes a morose atmosphere which Sims maintains as he plays with restraint followed by Fell's deliberate crafting of his solo.
"Lights and Colors," with a bouncy groove, and strong playing from Sims and Fell, closes "Change of Address," on a dance-able note. The playing, especially of Sims and Fell, captures the ear, even if the backing sometimes is only serviceable. Still an intriguing recording by a formidable baritone player.
I received my review copy from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the September-October 2017 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 374).