Antoine Drye With Strings – Retreat to Beauty: Oblation, Vol. 3 : Providence – Cellar Music

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Sublime trumpet with strings CD release…

Antoine Drye With Strings – Retreat to Beauty: Oblation, Vol. 3 : Providence – Cellar Music # CM101023 – CD – 54:33 – ****

(Antoine Drye – solo trumpet; Isaac Raz – orchestrator, piano (#12); Sullivan Fortner – piano; Ben Wolfe – bass; Donald Edwards – drums; David Bertrand & Myron Walden – flute; John Ellis – clarinet/ bass clarinet; Charlie Porter & Antoine Drye – trumpet; Willie Applewhite & David Gibson – trombone; Patrick Milando & Alexandra Cook – french horn; Becca Patterson – tuba; Christina Courtin & Trina Basu – violin; Marika Hughes – cello; Jessica Troy – viola; Brandi Disterhoff (orchestral parts & “Send in the Clowns”) – bass; Kim Kimistri Kalesti – vocals on #12 ; AC Lincoln – background vocals (#12); Vondie Curtis Hall, Sebastian Stoller, David Stoller – intro actor vocals )

Recording as a jazz leader surrounded by strings is an opportunity not to be passed up. Many jazz artists only get this chance once in their lifetimes. There have been iconic efforts by jazz titans Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker, and Cannonball Adderley that have stood out among their discographies, and are treasured by their fans. Now New York City based trumpeter, Antoine Drye, can add his name to the list of “must-have” jazz with strings releases.

Antoine has surrounded his rhythm section ( Sullivan Fortner, Ben Wolfe, and Donald Edwards) with trombones, french horns, a clarinet, tuba, and recent New York transplant (via Portland, Oregon), Charlie Porter, on trumpet. Of interest, this brass heavy contingent does not have any saxophones. The string section has two violins, a cello, viola, and bass.

The tracklist is made up of  seven standards, two Drye originals, and two tracks from his dear friend, pianist Jonathan Lefcoski, who left us at a young age in 2014. Jonathan also re-harmonized the much beloved Sondheim classic, “Send in the Clowns,” which will bring a tear to the eye with its beauty.

Isaac Raz is the orchestrator for this project. 

As part of Drye’s Oblation project, this is Vol. 3, with a dedication to “Providence,” (divine guidance). With Drye’s burnished, warm trumpet leading the way surrounded by strings, backing horns, and Sullivan Fortner’s crystalline piano accompaniment, this release elicits a profound sense of contentment, and warmth, like wearing a warm blanket on a wintry night. 

It begins with a brief intro of a father bringing his young child to a symphony hall (“Daddy Takes Lilykenz to a Show”) and ends with the vocal “Ringing in the Bells,” where the brass and strings happily soar.

 In between, we are treated with a nice mix of revisited standards, and new compositions. Throughout, there is a sophistication that brings to mind Ellington on “Isfahan,” with John Ellis’ clarinet; a film noirish, “The Peacocks,” with a somber reading and mournful Drye trumpet; and Louis Armstrong’s “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” taken at a stroll with an elegant “night out on the town” feel.

Antoine Drye’s “retreat to beauty” is a trip that we all can treasure in these turbulent times. Its sublime beauty will warm the heart, and its soothing arrangements add to the journey.

—Jeff Krow

Retreat to Beauty: Oblation, Vol. 3 : Providence

Dada Takes Lilykenz to a Show
When It’s Sleepy Time Down South
The Peacocks
Send in the Clowns
Ringing in the Bells

More information through Bandcamp/Cellar Music

Album Cover for Antoine Drye, Retreat to Beauty Vol. 3


Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01