Natural Essence

Natural Essence

by Cyrus Chestnut


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As with his previous effort, 2015's A Million Colors in Your Mind, pianist Cyrus Chestnut's second Highnote release, 2016's Natural Essence, finds him communing with two veteran artists for a deeply heartfelt and swinging session. Whereas last time Chestnut was joined by bassist David Williams and drummer Victor Lewis, here he has conscripted the talents of bassist Buster Williams and drummer Lenny White. Both Williams and White are industry icons with decades of playing experience and credits with such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Tony Williams, McCoy Tyner, and many others. While many of Chestnut's recordings lean toward the strait-laced and straight-ahead approach to modern jazz, he is by no means a reserved musical traditionalist. On the contrary, while he is adept at swinging acoustic jazz, one of his most formative experiences was as a member of vocalist Betty Carter's trio. A genre-bending maverick, Carter purportedly encouraged Chestnut to try new things and approach even the most well-known standard in an unexpected way. That expectation defying aesthetic fits nicely into Chestnut's work here with Williams and White, who come from a generation of jazz musicians who grew up playing electrified fusion, funk, and highly progressive post-bop influenced by the avant-garde. While the music here is more stripped down to the jazz essentials, they nonetheless tackle even the most well-known standard, like "It Could Happen to You," with a creative ebullience and in-the-moment spontaneity that grab your attention throughout. Also thrilling are the trio's takes on several original compositions, including Chestnut's sophisticated, minor-tinged "Faith Amongst the Unknown," White's languid, urbane ballad "Dedication," and Williams' soulful, roiling "Toku-Do."

Product Details

Release Date: 05/20/2016
Label: Highnote
UPC: 0632375728328
catalogNumber: 757283
Rank: 45390

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cyrus Chestnut   Primary Artist,Piano
Lenny White   Drums
Buster Williams   Bass

Technical Credits

Gigi Gryce   Composer
Joe Henderson   Composer
Lenny White   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Cyrus Chestnut   Composer,Producer
Joe Fields   Executive Producer
Johnny Green   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Edward Heyman   Composer
Katsuhiko Naito   Engineer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Buster Williams   Composer
Steve Futterman   Liner Notes

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