Exposé Online banner

Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra — Down a Rabbit Hole
(Summit DCD 732, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-11-02

Down a Rabbit Hole Cover art

There’s no telling what will come your way when you write about music, and Ayn Inserto was a new name for me, but she has been composing and conducting orchestrated big band music for around 17 years now with four releases to her credit. The band features 17 regular members (four trumpets, three trombones, bass trombone, five wind players on all forms of saxes, flute, clarinet, plus guitar, piano, bass and drums) plus three special guests: trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist John Fedchock, and George Garzone on tenor sax. Inserto for her part composed everything except two tracks (of seven total), arranged everything, and conducts the group. Throughout the set the group pushes the boundaries of modern big-band jazz with creativity, energy, and pure magic, with emotion, power, and restraint on display with every measure. Inserto has a percussion background (mallets) which, although not employed here, comes through clearly in her savvy arrangements. Let’s talk about that last track for a minute; it was the first one here to catch my ear, a vaguely recognizable melody following a piano intro, all inside a hauntingly beautiful arrangement. Turns out it’s “I’ll Be There,” a full-on big band arrangement of a song that was a hit for the Jackson Five way back in 1970. The title track is based on a crunchy riff by the rhythm section and features Garzone in a powerful sax solo that’s clearly one of the album’s highlights. The opener “Three and Me” and it’s follow-on “BJ’s Tune” (written by Sean Jones) are two that push all the right buttons for those that like complexity and colorful arrangements that evoke warmth and power, shifting gears regularly, the latter offering a more paced platform and a spotlight for Jones’ trumpeting, and together they offer an album side's worth of pure amazement right out of the gate. The third cut, “Mister and Dudley,” takes a more playful approach, starting with a catchy melody for winds, alternating with trombone, this is probably after many listens the piece that grabs my attention the most here. There’s a lot more here to captivate the attuned listener, not the least of which is the two part suite “Ze Teach” and its follow-on “And Me,” the latter a romp through an endless maze of shifting measures, intriguing and sometimes crazy, but still easy on the ears. I hope to hear more of Inserto soon as I track down all of her previous releases, but this one serves as a powerful introduction.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Ayn Inserto

More info
http://www.summitrecords.com/release/down-a-rabbit-hole-ayn-inserto-jazz-orchestra/

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ring of Myth - Unbound – First impressions are generally correct. This could be a likable excursion down a well trod path, however, I found it pretty much impossible to listen to this CD all the way through. This LA band is a...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues