Aaron Aranita is known to most lovers of music and followers of big band music, especially on the West Coast. He is an accomplished woodwinds player and is known to play piano as well. On Segunda Vista, however, his writing has been showcased, and marvellously so. Significantly Mr. Aranita has not only written the music, but also made the arrangements for the celebrated Brent Fischer Orchestra, one of the premier large ensembles in the world.
Brent Fischer is none other than the son of the legendary musician, writer and arranger Clare Fischer, and a great writer and arranger in his own right. On this album, though, Brent Fischer conducted Mr. Aranita’s arrangements and also plays bass on – “Sea Dreams” and “Epifanio”.
If the title – Segunda Vista – of the album needs any explanation the ethereal beauty of the music provides all of the suggestively “precognitive” enlightenment, so to speak. Gloriously liquid with seemingly gossamer phrases and lines gamboling their way through charts such as “Sea Dreams” and the magnificently diaphanous “Segunda Vista” as Mr. Aranita’s music floats on a feather-light Latinised rhythmic wave. The music is brilliantly focussed and gently piquant melodies such as “Coração da Natureza” thrill the senses with the high-sprung elegance of a stage full of leaping ballet dancers. Moreover Mr. Aranita has an uncanny ability of animating even the simplest of melodies.
All it then takes is for the musicians of the Brent Fischer Orchestra to make the black dots spring up and off the pages, and this they do with much more than a wickedly elegant gleam. The sensuous mambo, “Sierra Leone” is an exquisite example of how a superb chart is fully embraced by the technical proficiency and extraordinary tone-textures by the musicians. It is also a wonderful example of how in a short span of a mere six and a half minutes the orchestra creates the effect of a veritable passacaglia. Meanwhile on “Epifanio” the crisp arrangement features a poignant solo on soprano by Aaron Aranita, while Mr. Fischer shows off his chops on bass as he hold up a rhapsodic bass line melody as well.
If the career of Aaron Aranita were to be measured by these eight evocative songs then there is ample evidence of the “ether” of the spirit world as well as the visceral beauty of the concretely sensual and the blood and fire of rhythm where the genteel West Coast and the vibrant Caribbean Sea collide from the beginning of “Sea Dreams” to the very end of “Bells” and then some.
Track list – 1: Sea Dreams; 2: Coração da Natureza; 3: Fischer Sketch; 4: Sierra Leone; 5: Epifanio; 6: Segunda Vista; 7: Bells; 8: Never Far from My Heart
Personnel – Aaron Aranita: composer, arranger, soprano saxophone solo (5); The Brent Fischer Orchestra conducted by Brent Fischer; Woodwinds: Alex Budman, Dan Kaneyuki, Kirsten Edkins, Tom Peterson, Sean Franz and Bob Carr; Trumpets: Rob Schaer, Mike Stever, Dave Richards, James Blackwell, Jeff Bunnell, Ron Stout, Carl Saunders, Knox Summerour; Trombones: Dave Ryan, Jacques Voyemont, Fred Simmons, Philip Menchaca, Steve Trapani, and Mike Millar: bass trombone; Assa Drori: concertmaster and principal violin; Violins: Elizabeth Wilson, Rafael Rishik, Susan Rishik; Viola: Robert Berg; Cello: Kevan Torfeh; Rhythm Section: Quinn Johnson: keyboard; Riner Scivally: guitar; Brent Fischer: electric bass (1, 5); Ken Wild: contrabass and electric bass; Ron Manaog: drums; Bryan Brock: percussion
Released – 2017
Label – Sugartown Records
Runtime – 43:16