Sleight of Hand
There's a new kid in the jazz neighborhood: Sherisse Rogers, approaching her late 20s with a fistful of degrees and awards. She boasts a master's in jazz composition and was voted the 2004 ASCAP/IAJE emerging composer. With this self-produced calling card, Rogers has arrived.
All the tracks are winners, revealing Rogers' talent for matching instrumentalists and singers with the band. The album's highlight is the Brazilian-steeped "Chacagliatu," which is enhanced by Yoon Choi's wordless vocalizing and the trombone playing of Ben Griffin. Singer Charenee Wade adds words and scat to "East of the Sun," toying with the rhythm in the release. Nathan Hetherington contributes a remarkable falsetto to "For One's Lost," followed by a memorable solo from tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin.
Dave Liebman's soprano sax lights up the noirish "Brother Ernesto," and a string quartet wraps its special timbre around tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm on "Transitions." And how about that wickedly reharmonized "Blue Skies"?