CD Review: Tricia Edward's Joy Spring

Calgary-based jazz pianist Tricia Edwards takes a handful of jazz standards and transforms them into a relaxing and playful set in her debut CD.

Tricia Edwards' musical journey has taken her down many paths, most recently, in local jazz bars and the recording studio. From classical piano to classic jazz, from soloist to collaborative artist and from student to teacher/performer. With Joy Spring, Edwards takes her audience on a cheerful yet relaxing, playful yet romantic ride.

The Journey From Classical to Jazz

Edwards' musical studies began in classical music. She earned her Masters' and Bachelors' degrees in classical piano performance at the University of Alberta. After graduation, Edwards worked as a teacher and collaborative pianist in Alberta and the Middle East.

In 2003, Edwards began studying jazz piano, studying with Derek Stoll, a prominent jazz pianist in Western Canada. In 2009, she was awarded the Richard Harold Cowie Scholarship by the Calgary Musician's Association and C-Jazz.

Since then, Edwards has been busy. She has formed her own trio and quartet, the Whisper Not Jazz Ensemble, Calgary Jazzwinds, the Wednesday Night Big Band, Wednesday Night Little Big Band and a new unnamed smooth jazz quartet. She has performed at popular jazz clubs such as the BeatNiq Jazz and Social Club and Koi Cafe.

Joy Spring Disc Information

Track Listing

  1. One Note Samba (N. Mendonca/A.C. Jobim)
  2. Sugar (S. Turrentine)
  3. Sidewinder (L. Morgan)
  4. On the Street Where You Live (A.J. Lerner/ F. Lowe)
  5. There Will Never Be Another You (M. Gordon/H. Warren)
  6. My Funny Valentine (L. Hart/R. Rodgers)
  7. Cherokee (R. Noble)
  8. Bluesette (J.B. Thielmans)
  9. All the Things You Are (O. Hammerstein/J. Kern)
  10. Well You Needn't (T. Monk)
  11. Joy Spring (C. Brown)
  12. Alone Together (H. Dietze/A. Schartz)

Musicians: Tricia Edwards (piano), Keith Smith (guitar), John Hyde (bass)

Arranger: Tricia Edwards

Label: None

Produced by: NRS Productions

Cover Art by: Alison Edwards

Release Date: March 9, 2009

Joy Spring Highlights

Joy Spring is a smooth jazz CD comprised of jazz standards; a little Latin jazz, a little swing and a little waltz. The first track, "One Note Samba", opens with a cheerful piano solo before being joined by the guitar and bass. The guitar solo teases us with a line that steps away from the "one note" but leisurely returns to that "one note". The piano matches the playful and unhurried tone set by the guitar. Gradually the line ebbs and flows.

"Sidewinder" displays the funky and frolicsome interplay between all the instruments. Each member of the trio takes ideas presented by another member and takes it to another level. Nothing is rushed, everything is smooth and relaxed.

"My Funny Valentine" begins with a piano solo, playing a simple ostinato over the descending bass. The guitar enters with a very melancholic saxophone-like line. The head is played simply with sparse accompaniment. Gradually, the harmonies become thicker. The solos do reach virtuosic proportions yet remain lazy, smoky and sultry.

The jazz waltz "Bluesette" begins with a dreamy piano intro that is soon joined by the bass. The piano solo is syncopated, unhurried and sprightly. The bass solo could have been louder.

The title track, "Joy Spring" is a playful Latin groove. The head wanders up and down at a laid back pace.

In the piano solo, Edwards plays with the rhythm, throwing in a couple of runs. The guitar solo is highly syncopated and melodic.

Lighthearted Relaxation Music

The interplay between the piano and guitar and piano is well done. It is clear that the members of this jazz trio listen to each other, lend support and build on each other's ideas. The bass gives subtle but strong support. Joy Spring as a debut CD presents Tricia Edward's joy of music and playful nature; making it a fun listen, whether you are curled up with a good book and a glass of wine, driving across the countryside or enjoying a romantic dinner.

To find out more about Tricia Edwards or to listen to sample tracks, visit her website. To learn buy Joy Spring, click on the icon below:

 

Originally published March 1, 2010. All rights reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.