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Josh Lawrence: Color Theory (Posi-Tone)

Josh Lawrence: "Color Theory"
Josh Lawrence: “Color Theory”

The members of Josh Lawrence’s quintet are mostly from Philadelphia—none well known except Orrin Evans, all with New York chops. They are Caleb Curtis (alto saxophone, flute), Madison Rast (bass), Anwar Marshall (drums) and either Evans (piano) or Adam Faulk (Fender Rhodes).

Lawrence is an impeccable trumpet player with a glossy sound. Like all but a few jazz musicians under 40 in the world, he wants to write his own stuff. The concept behind this album is synesthesia, one form of which is the experience of music as color. Tunes include “Green,” “RED!,” “Black” and “Blue.” The relationships between songs and specific colors mean something to Lawrence; listeners will have to take these relationships on faith. Tracks alternate between energetic, intricate postbop structures and slow-to-medium forms. All are harmonically astute, well made and expertly executed. All are nice. None is sufficiently differentiated from the vast recent canon of compositions by under-40 jazz musicians to make it entirely memorable.

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