Sarah Manning – Dandelion Clock – Posi-Tone PR 8065 ****:
(Sarah Manning, alto saxophone; Art Hirahara, piano; Linda Oh, bass; Kyle Struve, drums)
Sarah Manning has taken an artistic journey across the country. Educated in elite East Coast music programs, she would study directly under the tutelage of Dr. Yusef Lateef. There she learned the valuable and inspirational lesson….find your own musical voice! Manning became a fixture on the West Coast scene, recording two critically received albums and developed as a performer in the Bay Area jazz clubs.
With the release of Dandelion Clock, Manning has taken another step in developing a unique sound. With a mixture of dissonant and melodic phrasing, this ambitious album boasts seven original compositions among its nine tracks. Opening with the haunting and piercing “The Peacocks,” the listener is struck by the post-bop melody. “Habersham Street,” on the other hand, creates a harmonic and slow-tempo flow, accentuated by a smooth interplay between saxophone and piano. “Crossing and Waiting” has the Quartet exploring a Middle Eastern sound, with a strenuous bass line. “Marble” shines a cool light on a waltz-time swing, allowing a smart and concussive piano solo. An improvisational opening to the Michel Legrand classic, “Windmills Of Your Mind,” is transformed into a resonant and versatile lead by Manning. Of additional interest is the highly stylized track, “The Owls,” framed in a march rhythm, but allowing for extended improvisation.
With a combination of edginess and harmonic structure, Dandelion Clock gives a snapshot of a musician on a very personal and musical revelation.
TrackList: The Peacocks; Marble; Habersham Street; I Tell Time By The Dandelion Clock: Crossing ,Waiting: The Owls (Are On The March): Through The Keyhole; Phoenix Song; The Windmills of Your Mind
— Robbie Gerson