Of the current crop of young musicians, it is rare – indeed, incredibly rare – to come across a woman who is so proficient a contrabassist as Domi Edson. One is so impressed with her articulate technique, erudite and emotive expression, and broad palette of colours, not to mention flawless sense of time that it not unlikely that one will find oneself left catching one’s proverbial breath all through this recording with the curious title: Stories from Solitude – one can only assume suggests the product of considerable – and lonely – woodshedding. The appearance of the music by Ms. Edson and this wonderful trio is something to be celebrated with unfettered joyfulness.
Perhaps the most structurally striking elements of this music are the interlacing of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic invention, which is at the centre point of each [song]. Given that the writing, arranging, and interpretation is not overly flashy, with Ms. Edson’s easy, fluid perfection through the webs of musical – especially rhythmic – complexities merits mentioning. Likewise, the manner in which she smoothly brings off ferociously unidiomatic modulations – listen to the magical reimagination [of In Walked Bud] such as In Waltzed Minnie, as well as the mystical con arco introduction to Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life [diabolical double-stops are breathtaking]. Add tonal colour spanning the gamut from satisfyingly wiry to full and sweet, and it’s a full house of deliciousness – certainly on Lush Life, which is, far and away, the pinnacle of the album.
In all of this, Miss Edson finds superb support from pianist Spencer Zweifel and the terrific drummer Bobby Weins – both of whom are magnificently attuned to Ms. Edson’s vision and artistry. It is not often that the grandiosity of music’s architecture is brilliantly displayed as on this album. Stories from Solitude completely breaks through the morass of trio recordings we have become so numbed by in recent years.
Music – 1: Shiny Stockings; 2: Domi’s New Blues; 3: In Waltzed Minnie; 4: Panoramic; 5: Killarney Glen; 6: You and the Night and the Music; 7: Lush Life; 8: Crocos; 9: When You’re Smiling; 10: For Col. Tom Blue; 11: Up Jumped Spring.
Musicians – Spencer Zweifel: piano; Domi Edson: contrabass; Bobby Weins: drums.
Released – 2023
Label – Independent
Runtime – 1:04:33