Jay Phelps - Free As The BirdsRopeadope
Vancouver native Jay Phelps began making a name for himself at home before deciding to move to London at age Seventeen. While establishing himself he proceeded to co-lead the jazz group known as Empirical to critical acclaim. With his sophomore solo release the Trumpeter is ready to expand his sound. "Free As The Birds" kicks off with ethereal intro "Of The World" showcasing his warm tone and soft vocals. "Amphitrite's Bounty" is another blissful beauty filled with warm keys. Things get a bit more adventurous midway through the disc when Phelps partners up with some of New York's premiere musicians. Phelps soloing syncs up beautifully with David Binney's alto and the wordless melodies of Emillia Martensson on "Flash". Pianist John Escreet's dazzling flurries raises the track to even greater heights. The sparkling samba tinged title track brims with joy in part due to Nilson Batata's lively percussion and Martina DeSilva's soft vocals. The entire disc is a delight and worthy of repeated listens. There's a lot to like here from Phelps and he's one to keep an eye on for sure.
Reg Dancy, 07/18