Original Release date: 1997
Re-release date (England): 1st August 2006
A further significant re-release by Blue Note (England).
“As We Are Now” is simply one of the finest and perhaps most overlooked jazz albums of the past ten years. Canadian Renee (Irene Louise) Rosnes is a founding member of SF Jazz Collective and a pianist correctly likened in her range and understanding of jazz to Herbie Hancock. Here, as leader and main composer, she is in stellar company – Chris Potter (saxophones), Christian McBride (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums) - a dream quartet with outstanding performances all round. Rudy Van Gelder has captured the essence of this great playing in a rounded, full bodied recording that scotches the idea that he has perhaps been guilty of under-recording piano. Seven of the tracks are composed by Renee Rosnes ("Black Holes", "The Land of Five Rivers", "Abstraction Blue (For Georgia O'Keeffe)", "Mizmahta", "Bulldog's Chicken Run", "As We Are Now") while Chris Potter contributes “Absinthe" . In addition there are fine versions of Tony Williams’ “Pee Wee” and Walt Weiskopf’s “Non-Fiction”.
Chris Potter, always at his best when placed in challenging company such as this produces some of his best recorded performances, showing a fluency that is remarkable. His soprano sax playing on “Land Of the Five Rivers” has never sounded better. This is matched in full by Renee Rosnes’ wonderful piano playing which is evocative and powerful in turns over an exceptional musical and emotional range. Jack DeJohnette, as elder statesman here, underpins everything with subtle drum runs that allow the main soloists to shine. As John Scofield says of Christian McBride on his liner notes to “Works For Me”, “Christian is the ideal rhythm partner…… and he plays about as much bass as one can. I love his spirit and his positive attitude….” And the same is true of his bass playing here.
Overall, “As We Are Now” has our highest possible recommendation.
(Memo to Blue Note: with interest in Renee Rosnes’ music growing , wouldn’t it be a good idea to re-release the other early Blue Notes, especially the now unobtainable “For The Moment” featuring Joe Henderson).
New! Renee Rosnes complete discography
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