Having long maintained that knowing something about a record label can be or at least increase the probability of buying a solid release, Innova Records is money! After an incredibly impressive debut release from Johhny Yao, Jeremy Long and In Suspension simply reconfirms the incredible artistic roster which Innova boasts with a soon to be released stellar recording from Jeremy Long. A 4tet that while not in artistic suspension they do walk the incredibly difficult tightrope of genre with flair and originality. Jeremy Long is part of a new sound emerging from the more traditional side of the jazz street that blends a more post bop form and function with a slightly more contemporary presentation without tripping that commercial tripwire that could spell sonic disaster for the lesser artist.
Long's musical pedigree is most impressive. Having walked the jazz/classical sonic tightrope, Jeremy Long has also worked with such luminaries as Ray Charles and Chaka Khan. In addition to the variety of performance work, Long is an Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Miami University. In Suspension would seem to be an amazing hybrid of his work with a soulful organ trio that combines six originals and two standards into seemingly original Long classics. The title track "In Suspension" is indeed old school made new cool as syncopated pop of a new school bass line welcomes in Long and organ phenom Steven Snyder and their talents seem to build to a magnificent cohesion of sound. Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue is the perfect recipe for this tune if not the entire release. Long's classical background allows the master technician to shine through but there is soulful sense of lyrical purpose that come from somewhere deep inside. As throughout this release, the subtle finesse of one of the finest drummers working the scene today in Jason Tiemann is reminiscent of Max Roach after you fast forward roughly 40 years. "Blue for Schnitzel" is a groove you can use. Snyder sets that pace but the quartet fuses their individual voices into one musical swing that while harmonically adventurous never goes off the sonic deep end. "Soul Food" is a deceptively subtle funky smoker where Long changes harmonics on the fly and with effortless precision the at time odd meter adds texture and depth and is like chocolate sauce on ice cream and everyone loves ice cream - even lactose intolerant kids love ice cream!
Going in "expecting" the more traditional organ based ensemble was quickly put to rest for a 4tet that is as tight as they come. A true working band feel not afraid to change dynamics and take the sonic road less traveled for a true musical adventure that is the real deal.