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Blue Muse It Never Entered My Mind Review

by June 23, 2022

Blue Muse It Never Entered My Mind Review

blue-museBlue Muse is a jazz ensemble created in 2013 by saxophonist Sarah Lee after she left a 20-year career in Information Technology and pursued her passion, jazz. While attending Jacksonville University, she brought together a group of eclectic and passionate jazz musicians who became Blue Muse. Blue Muse has performed at venues all over the southeast, including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival After Dark series, and did a summer tour in 2021 at venues such as Arts Garage and Delray Beach. Their debut release Blue Muse Live reached #6 on the CMJ Jazz chart and charted on the Roots Music Jazz charts. Six years after releasing their debut album Blue Muse Live, the group made it back into the studio in 2020 and recorded It Never Entered My Mind.

About the Album

It Never Entered My Mind culminates the group’s love for harmony with horns, akin to such groups as the Jazz Messengers. With a focus on swing, soul-jazz, and a relaxed west coast vibe, Blue Muse works to transport the listener to a moment in time when jazz was cooler than cool. The ensemble brings us six arrangements, and the ensemble is Jarrett Carter, guitar; Cody Wheaton, bass; Javian Francis, piano; John Medico, drums; Lance Reed, trombone; Sarah Lee, tenor saxophone; and Steve Strawley, trumpet & flugelhorn.

Our Favorite Tracks

“Nutville” has a modern Latin jazz arrangement that uses the ensemble’s unique orchestration colors for the melody. First,blue-muse-2 Strawley takes a melodic and energetic solo that clearly outlines the harmony. Lee takes the reins next; her warm tenor saxophone sound glides through the harmony creating beautiful melodic phrases as she dances with the rhythm section. Next, Reed’s trombone effortlessly slides home a melodic solo that culminates with Medico’s drum solo. An exemplary arrangement and performance of this Horace Silver classic.

Joe Sample’s swinging “Freedom Sound” is given a lively and joyous performance and arrangement. Francis’ piano adds tasteful commentary in between the melody’s phrases. The bridge has interesting horn lines and flows nicely back to the A section. Wheaton takes a relaxed bass solo with his woody sound filling the airwaves. Cater continues the focus on stringed instruments as he performs his tasteful solo. Strawley’s Harmon mute adds character to his trumpet solo. An excellent arrangement and relaxed performance that exudes joy.

In Conclusion

blue-muse-1It Never Entered My Mind may be short, with only six selections, but the music is rich in textures, energy, and tasteful ensemble playing and solos. Lee has crafted a winning ensemble that shares a common goal and love of the same style and era of jazz. This all leads to a beautiful listening experience.

 

Overview
Artist

Blue Muse

Album

It Never Entered My Mind

Label

Self-Released

Release Date

April 23, 2021

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