Friday, April 29, 2016

Jay Hoggard - Harlem Hieroglyphs (2016)

Label: JHVM Recordings

For vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, the content of composition is always fluid.
"It's a constant process of taking strands from this and that and putting them together for whatever you need them for," Hoggard says. "The name of something doesn't always mean that that's what it is."
Across decades of teaching and directing the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra, Hoggard, 61, has remained a reliably innovative composer and recording artist, documenting his interests at every stage of his career: the music of vibraphone master Lionel Hampton (for whom Hoggard subbed in the 1990s), African-American spirituals and popular songs, excursions into various African diasporic rhythmic conceptions, even holiday music.
Few of Hoggard's earlier projects, however, approach the sweep of "Harlem Hieroglyphs," an expansive double album released March on his own JHVM Recordings label.
The recording pulls together strands from a previous suite, "Sonic Hieroglyphs from Wood, Metal and Skin," which premiered at Wesleyan in 2012, along with new original compositions, standards (by Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins and others), new gospel and R&B-leaning flights and lengthy post-bop workouts, some of which approach the 10-minute mark.
"It was four years of composition and thinking about it," Hoggard says. "You can go from track to track and evoke a particular scene or image or painting. That's mostly how I think of it: Painting with a tonal palette."
This month, Hoggard celebrates "Harlem Hieroglyphs" with two presentations at Wesleyan: "Storied Places" (April 15-16; CFA Theater), a multimedia work with choreography by Nicole Stanton, narrative text by Lois Brown and visuals by L'Merchie Frazier; and a concert by his Harlem Hieroglyphs Ensemble (April 30; Crowell Concert Hall), featuring saxophonist René McLean, pianist/organist James Weidman, bassist Belden Bullock and drummer Pheeroan akLaff. Read more...

1. If I Were a Bell 7:06
2. Harlem Jazzbirds Swingin' and Swayin' 7:57
3. Let Me Make It Clear 7:15
4. I Am Free 9:09
5. Everything Must Change 7:06
6. Piety and Redemption 8:11
7. A Walk Through the Colorful Forest 7:18
8. Sonic Hieroglyphics 5:38
9. I'm Gonna Show You That I Love You 6:23
10. On a Wing and a Prayer 3:40
11. Airegin 3:33
12. I Live Because I Breathe 7:35
13. Disposable Consumption, Pt. 1 5:21
14. Sunlight Thru Pine and Mahogany 2:12
15. Mystical Cycles of Skin, Wood, and Metal 3:29
16. My Love 6:38
17. Pleasant Memories 9:34
18. Disposable Consumption, Pt. 2 4:33

JAY HOGGARD - vibraphone
GARY BARTZ - soprano and alto saxophones
JAMES WEIDMAN - piano,organ
NAT ADDERLEY JR - piano,organ