Chie Imaizumi: A Time of New Beginnings

Positive vibes permeate the highly original music of Denver-based composer-arranger-conductor Chie Imaizumi, who might be considered the Rocky Mountain counterpart to Maria Schneider. The accomplished Berklee grad creates dynamic works that are sophisticated in scope and charged with energy. Her latest release, a thrilling followup to 2007’s Unfailing Kindness, showcases a cast of all-star soloists including trumpeter Randy Brecker (“Information Overload”), saxophonist Steve Wilson (“My Heartfelt Gratitude”), bassist John Clayton (lovely arco work on the ballad “Fear of the Unknown”), drummer Jeff Hamilton (title track), trumpeters Greg Gisbert and Terell Stafford (“Run for Your Life”), trombonist Steve Davis and baritone sax ace Gary Smulyan (“Many Happy Days Ahead”) and multireed man Scott Robinson (switching from sopranino to tenor sax on “Fun & Stupid Song”). This one’s a sleeper, and Imaizumi is definitely a talent worthy of wider recognition.