I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Momentary Beauty, from Kate Hamann and I really like it. Opening with Latin flavored, Butterflies, Leading the way on trumpet is Kate Hamann (rhymes with ramen) with strong tone and dexterity, joined by Jason Arkins on alto sax, Diego Melgar on guitar, Angel Perez on piano, Mike Ramos (rah-moass) on bass and Max Marsillo (mar-sill-oh) on drums. This track is lively and agressive with just the right tension. Great opener. On Daydream, Hamann takes a softer flugelhorn approach giving the first main stage to Melgar on guitar. His phrasing is excellent, punctuated by Perez on piano. I really like Hamann's style as she expands on the primary melodic theme, followed by Perez on piano. Very nice. Hamann takes front and center vocally on Stepping Stones. She a solid, clear voice and contrasts nicely with her own flugelhorn, and Arkins' tenor sax solo has a richness that really balances this track nicely. One of my personal pleasures of jazz music in particular is the use of space and when Hamann takes her horn for a ride, the band comesdown with just a hint of piano. An inspired solo by bassist Ramos is icing on the cake. Very nice. Wrapping the release is vocal lead track, Songs We Used To Sing, with a radio memorable melody. Keeping the instrumentation lower on snare, piano and bass, the track is a solid closer for a really strong release.
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