May 7, 2009


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Sean Jones, The Search Within
Mack Avenue Records, March 24
If only words failed as often as now. I’m reduced to mewling old standards like “If you only buy one jazz album this year...” and the like in the face of this one, Jones’ fifth LP as bandleader. For footing’s sake, Jones’ trumpet was one of several reed instruments played by the big names that featured prominently in jazz-diva Nancy Wilson’s 2006 Grammy-winning album Turned to Blue, and when he’s not occupied doing other awesome stuff, he’s lead trumpeter for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (time-shared also by Wynton Marsalis).

Perfection abounds here, whether Jones is bringing coffee-chill (“Life Cycles,” featuring some pretty wizzer horn mathematics and a Stevie Wonder-ready harmonica), winking at oldschool post-bop (the raucous, rancorous “Transitions”) or flirting with prog to stretch out his deep, indefatigable talent (“The Search Within [For Less]”). I can’t imagine anyone finding a single fault with this album aside from its utter lack of, you know, imperfection. A gem, a classic, A+, holy crow. Etc. A+EWS