Morgantown-based saxophonist Jared Sims releases a NYC-centric new record; release show tonight

By October 12, 2018 No Comments

Jared Sims grew up not far from Pittsburgh, in Morgantown, West Virginia, to which he returned a few years ago, to serve as Director of Jazz Studies at West Virginia University, his alma mater. In the years between his departure and return, he studied at the New England Conservatory and played in a handful of saxophone-heavy groups. He also logged many hours on New York City stages, a period that frames the five original compositions on his latest album, The New York Sessions (released on Ropeadope).  Recorded in the Big Apple, with a rhythm section of friends based there, the album features Sims on tenor saxophone in four of the five tracks. Only one features him on baritone, which he played exclusively on last year’s Change of Address. Although tunes like “Tribeca Tap Bar” were inspired by venues like the Knitting Factory, Sims doesn’t attempt to recreate the free abandon of the place. Nor does he wax wistful for another long-gone venue in “Wetlands Preserved.” He plays it straightahead on both tracks, in a manner that takes care of business. He solo in “Tribeca Tap Bar” consists of extended melodic ideas that develop over multiple sections of the choruses. After playing a bossa groove beneath him, the rhythm section slips into a swinging 4/4 for Chris McCarthy’s piano solo.  Drummer Evan Hyde, an attentive listener who drives the band, also picks up on a rhythmic line during Sims’ solo in “Wetlands Preserved” and echoes it, stirring up the energy when he does. “Brooklyn Tea,” the sole baritone track, could be considered a ballad. For this one, he draws on the richness of the big horn and makes some strong accents in the way he phrases. All the while, the drive of the rhythm section adds to his message.

JARED SIMS ALBUM RELEASE SHOW. 7 p.m.  Friday, October 12.  Wallace’s Whisky Room,
123 N Highland Avenue, Highland Park. Donations accepted. 412-665-0555

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