Saturday, March 4, 2017

Songevity: Safe in Sound

GSI Records
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Safe in Sound

The Songevity trio, headed by bassist Rob Duguay, includes pianist Justin Kauflin and drummer Nadav Snir-Zelniker. 

Duguay was born in Canada but grew up in Queens, New York, where he began studying classical piano at age 6. He discovered jazz — and the upright bass — in high school. He became a business student at the University of Vermont, and was playing with territory bands when he met and had the opportunity to share the stage with Clark Terry. 

After graduating with a degree in international business management, Duguay was  accepted into the University of New Orleans graduate program, where he received an ASCAP award for jazz composition. He then received a masters of music degree in jazz studies, from William Paterson University.

His association with Terry put Duguay in touch with Kauflin, who was part of that ensemble, and was the subject of the marvelous Clark Terry documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On. As the documentary indicated, and this CD demonstrates, Kauflin is a musical force to be reckoned with.

Snir-Zelniker was born in Israel in 1974, and began to play drums at 16. In 1999, after several honorary scholarships, he moved to the States and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in music performance, at SUNY-Purchase College.

All the charts on this album are originals, composed and arranged by Duguay. They’re tasty, delightful, thoughtful and softly swinging tunes. My only caveat is the album’s brevity, with a running time of just over 40 minutes. But what’s present definitely is choice.

I hope any subsequent releases provide a lot more of the music these men capably deliver.

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