Venezuelan pianist and Guggenheim Fellow Edward Simon is just about as well respected as anyone in the realm of jazz piano. His accolades include stints with Greg Osby and Terence Blanchard’s bands plus he’s been a member of the prestigious SFJAZZ collective since 2015. All this to say that when he puts out a record, as is the case with his latest Sorrows and Triumphs, out now via Sunnyside Records, you pay attention. Joining Simon on the release is a stellar cast, namely Afinidad, Simon’s quartet comprised of alto saxophonist David Binney, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Brian Blade, plus special guests vocalist Gretchen Parlato, guitarist Adam Rogers and the chamber quintet Imani Winds, along with percussionists Rogerio Boccato and Luis Quintero. The album’s material blends two bodies of music commissioned by Chamber Music of America’s New Jazz Works program: the suites “Sorrows and Triumphs” and “House of Numbers,” their individual movements re-sequenced to form a holistic listening experience that brims with a lyricism both intimate and majestic. Sorrows and Triumphs is grown up jazz, there’s no way around it. But it’s everything you love about masterfully crafted and intellectually stimulating grown-up jazz. It just hits all the right notes. It’s cerebral yet still accessible. It’s music full of intent and purpose. Sorrows and Triumphs is an example of what can be only be achieved with experience, maturity, and superior artistry. You can stream “Triangle”, the lead single from the album below.
Sébastien Hélary co-founded Nextbop in 2009 with the objective of introducing modern jazz music to a younger generation of fans. Aside from music, his other main obsession is food, particularly ramen and other Japanese delicacies.