Lost in New York

Suresh Singaratnam

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Lost in New York Review

by Phil Freeman

Trumpeter Suresh Singaratnam travels back and forth between jazz and classical, but, unlike a certain jazz guard dog whose initials are W.M., he's happy to expand the parameters of the genre. The opening track of Lost in New York, "Temporal Incursions," lets the listener know what's up immediately, as a trumpet and saxophone melody is shadowed, then overshadowed, by distorted electric guitar, soloing behind and seemingly heedless of everyone else, not unlike Mike Clark's endless shredding on Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized." The album isn't always that disorienting or aggressive; tracks like "M104" and "Beneath a Smile" are more conventionally swinging. But the loud electric guitar returns on "Fortress of Song," turning what had been a somewhat arty ballad into a morass of musical conflict. It's a thrilling gambit, one that makes Lost in New York an exceptional album. The leader also gets to demonstrate his skills quite a bit throughout, of course; the album's final track, "Peripheral Fission," is one of the most exciting displays of technique, as he puffs out endless streams of rapid-fire notes for nearly a minute straight before allowing himself a (very) short breather. Suresh Singaratnam is a major talent with interesting ideas and good taste in bandmates, and this album is recommended to any fan of genuinely modern jazz.

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