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One of the country’s brightest jazz pianists and composers, Rager’s latest release features an all-Canadian quartet including Nova Scotia-based saxophonist Kenji Omae, who delivers highly inspired playing throughout the record. Bassist Fraser Hollins and drummer Dave Laing (who appeared on Rager’s previous discs) return to help render memorable versions of the pianist’s varied compositions.
The music itself ranges from fiery to sentimental. The album’s many highlights include the racing title track, a lilting tenor/piano duet in I Never Felt This Way, the suite-like Beautiful Journey, a could-be-jazz-standard in I Wish I Was There and Say What You Mean, which takes inspiration from a Wayne Shorter classic.
With this new release, Min Rager presents a top-notch band, nuanced writing and impressively creative playing of her own – this is a collection of Canadian-born jazz to pay attention to.