Thursday, January 23, 2020

Album Review: Jon Batiste - Chronology Of A Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard

Jon Batiste 
Chronology Of A Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard
**** out of *****

On his Jon Batiste's first release from his 2018 Village Vanguard residency, titled Anatomy of Angels, he delivered a more traditional jazz record in a tribute to one of his musical heroes Thelonius Monk. Now comes the second release from that residency titled Chronology Of A Dream and it is a richer, fuller representation of the artists skills and charisma, blending genres, incorporating new styles and remaining true to his own sound. 

From the soulful scat singing on the opening rollicking "BLACCK" to the tambourine shaking New Orleans tribute of "PWWR" the vibrant energy is palpable through the speakers as Batiste leads the crowd through some Who Dat? Saints inspired cheering around gorgeous high tempo and soft piano playing to fade out. His hometown of New Orleans is never far from his mind as "KENNER" gets the gumbo bumbling with hints of James Booker and Professor Longhair while one of Batiste's friends and mentors Roy Hargrove gets a tribute during a cover of his "SOULFUL".

The core group of players are drummer Joe Saylor, bassist Phil Kuehn, percussionist Negan Santos, trumpeter Giveton Gelin, saxophonists Tivon Pennicott and Patrick Bartley, tubist/trumpeter Jon Lampley, and guitarist Louis Cato but it is Batiste's record. The groove may march the way forward during the popping "BIRTHE" but it is Batiste's piano work which shines above the funky head bopping lines.

Chronology Of A Dream is just a ton of fun and as it was taken from the same set of shows as Anatomy of Angels, this is clearly the livelier record and better representation of his sound. That said, getting to see both sides of Batiste, the classical trained jazz professional and the lively party time band leader, on the same night makes him a special talent and one never to be missed on the live stage or live album.

(This record was included on our list of best live albums of the 2010's)
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

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