Lucid Culture


Imaginative, Vivid Songs Without Words From Trombonist Audrey Ochoa

Trombonist Audrey Ochoa isn’t trying to blow anybody away with crazy chops: she’s more interested in tunes and vivid narratives. Her latest album Frankenhorn – streaming at Soundcloud – isn’t scary or cartoonish, but it’s full of original, outside-the-box ideas. Most of them work.

The first track, Swamp Castles, is an upbeat song without words, with a very interesting chart for a chordless trio, bassist Mike Lent and drummer Sandro Dominelli mimicking a piano’s syncopated drive. Ochoa gives Lent another welcome, unorthodox chart playing a jaunty horn line throughout much of Silver Linings, a little later on.

Benchwarming is a slowly vamping, summery ballad over an implied clave with nifty, punchy strings (that’s Kate Svrcek and Shannon Johnson on violin and Ian Woodman on cello), and an almost nonchalantly triumphant coda. Somebody came off the bench and the whole team walked off with a win!

Ochoa overdubs some delicious harmonies over a tricky, dancing beat in Bunganga, Chris Andrew doubling on salsa piano and blippy organ. The only cover here, Ben Sures’ warmly anthemic ballad Postcards, has distantly gospel-tinged piano along with Ochoa overdubbing herself into a baroque-flavored one-woman brass section. She closes the album with My Reward, a purposeful, New Orleans-flavored oldschool 6/8 soul ballad for just trombone and bass where the two players slowly push their way further outside.

There are also a couple of numbers remixed by some dude (presumably) named Battery Poacher. If you were responsible for those inept, unfocused attempts at hip-hop backing tracks, you’d use a phony name too. If that’s Ochoa’s nom de plume, she’s best off sticking with her horn.

March 14, 2021 - Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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