Suresh Singaratnam - Lost In New York

I'm not going to sit here and pretend I know jazz in the slightest, because I don't. I know what I've heard, which is enough in the sense that I can appreciate it, but not enough in the sense that I can throw references at you left right and center, or know the difference between all the little sub genres of jazz that I'm sure exist (I hope I'm not sounding like a complete retard yet... just yet). I used to love driving around at night listening to jazz when I lived with my parents in the country. It could be quite thrilling! But that's the extent of my love for jazz, and I'm not planning on delving any deeper into this world until I'm at least 30.
So, that said, here's my very first jazz album review!
Don't worry, I asked for my friend Julian's opinion on the album too since he's a fine musician (of many instruments, including the trombone) and a jazz lover, just to give this review some sort of legitimacy. Surprisingly, he ended up having the same opinion on the album as I did which makes me pretty much awesome at reviewing things I know nothing of. Ha!
Suresh Singaratnam is a trumpet player from here in Toronto, and his release is called Lost In New York, a theme that is apparent with the help of the comic booklet included in the sleeve. I'd like to think that the theme would be obvious even without the help of the comic and the seemingly endless story he's written about how he was feeling and why etc etc etc in the insert.. it's as if all the extras become a little overkill on top of the lengthy tracks on the album, and as helpful as it all was it's a lot to have to go through just to listen to some music and understand it. Let's put it this way: It was a complex listen, borderline too complex. On top of the story there is also what sounds pretty much like a review already, written by somebody who isn't the musician, in the insert as well. My work here is done...
Only not really because I was dying of boredom before I could finish reading it... that along with forcing myself to sit through 70 solid minutes of hip new jazz really did me in.
But I did it, and although I probably zoned out for about 50 minutes of it (sorry dude) I managed to get through it and, if I'm being honest, it will never happen again. Not with this release anyway.
It's just exhausting. Not only the reading but the music itself.
I admit, it did a great job of portraying the emotion in each comic picture, and told the story extremely well. I believe it would have been as apparent had it been JUST the music because it was well-constructed and sounded identical to how I would picture New York City. There was hustle and bustle, and the music made it feel very busy and very scary and chaotic at times, and yet with a sense of order that underlies every big city. At times I would think that things were falling apart during some tracks, and I was following but then the trail fell out from under me and I wasn't sure where I was going anymore or what was happening... I think this was intended, but it fucked me right up.
After about half way through the album this theme was tiring and I was no longer able to tell the difference between hustle and bustle and love and loss and scared and happy and it all just jumbled together, hammering into my brain. Unfortunately, the trumpet (although great tone - thanks Julian!) was one half of the reason that I couldn't stand this album in the end.. the irritating jazz drums being the other half. The piano I found very beautiful and I was definitely more partial to it as opposed to the trumpet, which just ended up sounding the same after a while. Sadly, the piano was good but not good enough that it would upstage the trumpet, which was the focus, so it too got old after time.
All in all, this is not the style of jazz I will be getting into when my 30's hit. As somebody else put it (thanks Mike!) it sounds like BSS jazz... which I'm assuming is Broken Social Scene and not Bull Shit Shit jazz. (NOW I sound retarded) He was also not the biggest fan.
Sad to say this album won't be urging me towards the genre any time soon and probably won't get another listen in my player ever again.
I do need more coasters though.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.