*worldwide release date 10/18/19 on Shifting Paradigm Records
One of the most important qualities that a practitioner of artistic endeavors can possess is that of curiosity. The spark that impels one to see what’s out there, to find out and to know more is much the same as that impulse that sets the artist on the pathway towards creation.
This sort of inquisitiveness is a quality that Jamie Breiwick shares with the subject of his musical investigations on this recording, trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry. For the peripatetic Cherry, upending the jazz trumpet tradition as musical co-conspirator in Ornette Coleman’s revolutionary quartet was only the beginning of a wide ranging and well traveled arc of discovery; his explorations resulted in an incredible body of genre-defying music that influenced not only jazz musicians but creators in every corner of the music world. Breiwick has been an intrepid explorer in his own sphere, conducting heartfelt and knowing investigations of the intersection where classic jazz vocabulary and contemporary sensibility meet in band projects such as the Lesser Lakes Trio, as well as most convincingly essaying the music of such an iconic figure as Thelonious Monk in his Dreamland project.
Awake, devoted to the compositions of Don Cherry, is another such accomplished foray by Breiwick. In a program that includes both cherished favorites from the Cherry “songbook” such as Art Deco and lesser-known (but no less influential) works such as Brown Rice, Jamie abundantly exhibits the depth of his understanding of Cherry’s music even as he showcases his exuberant skill and creativity as an improvisor. His command of the the jazz trumpet continuum, from vocabulary-based specificity to the gestural and illusive approach pioneered by Cherry, is comprehensive, organic, and swinging! The imaginative treatment of Cherry’s work by Jamie, in the company of the excellent bass/drums duo of Tim Ipsen and Devin Drobka, similarly shows Jamie’s desire to make fresh, non-cliched music using the full range of what he hears and likes.
Whenever I’m in my hometown of Milwaukee, I make it a point to seek out Jamie on one of his gigs, and each time afresh I marvel at how much music he knows, how well he plays, and how dang enjoyable it is to listen to him. Listening to this album, a most worthy addition to his expanding recorded oeveure, pleasantly reminds me of the brilliance of this estimable musician’s work. I invite you to listen to the music of Awake and enjoy its many splendors, as a prelude to a continuing engagement with the art of this important voice from the heartland.
– Brian Lynch, 2019