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Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Jasmine Lovell-Smith ’s Towering Poppies: Yellow, Red, Blue

Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Jasmine Lovell-Smith ’s Towering Poppies: Yellow, Red, Blue

The second album by soprano-saxophonist Jasmine Lovell-Smith with her New York-based band is an intriguing intersection of avant-garde art music and chamber jazz. Recorded in 2015 at Tedesco Studios New Jersey, ‘Yellow, Red, Blue’ is a sonically and compositionally sumptuous album. The front line of Lovell-Smith’s soprano saxophone with Josh Sinton’s bass clarinet gives the album a husky warmth that embraces the listener. The rhythm section of Cat Toren’s piano, Adam Hopkins on bass and Kate Gentile (drums) support and lift Lovell-Smith and Sinton to great heights. The addition of string quartet Cuarteto la Matraca on three tracks adds to the genre-defying nature of this album. Lovell-Smith includes an exquisite arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s I Had A King (which somehow manages to imply the lyrics while being wholly instrumental) alongside her seven original compositions. Each track has a different sonic mood, and taken as a whole this album has a cinematic quality that demonstrates her abilities as composer and arranger, and her skills as a performer to surround herself with just the right musicians to bring her ideas to life. Jasmine Lovell-Smith is a composer to keep an eye on in the future.