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Rachel Therrien Latin Jazz Project: Mi Hogar

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Rachel Therrien
Trumpet, Flugelhorn player, Composer Rachel Therrien - Photo by Claudia Raymat

Of all the albums that the trumpet and flugelhorn player Rachel Therrien has released so far, Mi Hogar is the most fiery and intense. Each song finds the brilliant horn player in her element, hitting her stride from the opening notes of the first track Capricho Arabe, a classic song by Francisco Tárrega [a track on which Miguel de Armas is also on fire]. From then on Miss Therrien shines through the nuclear bravura of the sound of her trumpet and the molten lava of her flugelhorn.

The fact that this recording delivers a full-spectrum of outstandingly vivid sound also helps enormously. This serves to intensify the beautiful menace of Miss Therrien’s trumpet and flugelhorn. It is also a recording redolent of the consummate pianism of a roster of keyboard players, rippling percussion colours and the low, rumble of the electric bass – all by virtuoso players too many to name here [but a full list is below]. This throws the wail of Miss Therrien’s brass into high relief, making for an absolutely stunning performance by everyone around the star horn player.

Rachel Therrien Latin Jazz Project: Mi Hogar
Rachel Therrien Latin Jazz Project: Mi Hogar

Miss Therrien’s playing is exhilarating, extrovert and virtuosic throughout. At her lips, and with perfect embouchure songs such as Moment’s Notice by John Coltrane [with Julian Gutierrez on piano] and Con Alma by Dizzy Gillespie [with the inimitable Manuel Valera on piano] with hot volcanoes of intense expression. Both songs present formidable technical challenges, not least because of the swift harmonic changes in the former and the blue fire of the [harmonic] changes in the latter. All of these challenges are surmounted almost with insolent nonchalance by the brilliant Miss Therrien.

Perhaps the most beckoning facet of Miss Therrien’s playing is her sense of rhythm, high sprung, light and incisive and entirely secure, which pays its way throughout this repertoire. But listening to her navigating through the massive architectural inventions of her soli and their flaming grandeur as if they are the most natural thing in the world leaves no doubt that this is a horn player to be watched, listened to, reckoned with, and unabashedly admired.

It also bears mention that while Miss Therrien can propel Afro-Cuban music as if from the nuclear corona of the sun, she is also capable of playing so tender that you can hardly breathe. Watch out for this kind of gleaming passion that sparkles like hidden gems throughout the music on this album.     

Deo gratis…

Music – 1: Capricho Arabe; 2: Moment’s Notice; 3: The Wizard; 4: Mojo; 5: Con Alma; 6: Odessa; 7: Porcelanosa

Musicians – Rachel Therrien: trumpet and flugelhorn; Michel Medrano Brindis: drums; Miguel de Armas: piano [1]; Julian Gutierrez: piano [2]; Gabriel Chakarji: piano [3, 4]; Manuel Valera: piano [5]; Danae Olano: piano [6]; Willy Soto Barreto: piano [7]; Alex Bellegarde: bass [1, 2]; John Benitez: bass [3, 4, 5]; Roberto Riveron: bass [6]; Luis Izquierdo: bass [7]; Roman Filiú: alto saxophone [3, 4]; Nestor Rodríguez Vilardell: tenor saxophone [7]; Lazaro Martínez: timbales [2] and congas [2, 7]; Arturo Zegarra: bongo [1] and timbales [2, 7];  Melissa Lavergne: congas [1] and bongos [7]; Keisel Jimenez: congas [3 – 5]; Carlos Maldonado: cajón [3], bongos [4] and quinto [5]; Victor Pablo: congas [3]; Magdelys Savigne: bàtá  [6]

Released – 2023
Label – Outside in Music [OiM 2307]
Runtime – 49:05

YouTube Video – Rachel Therrien Latin Jazz Project: Porcelanosa

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