.Hi-Res ยป Cyrus Chestnut – Natural Essence (2016 24/96 FLAC)

Cyrus Chestnut – Natural Essence (2016 24/96 FLAC)

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Cyrus Chestnut - Natural Essence (2016 24/96 FLAC)

Cyrus Chestnut – Natural Essence (2016 24/96 FLAC)

Artist: Cyrus Chestnut
Album: Natural Essence
Release/Reissue: 2016
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop

01. Mamacita
02. It Could Happen to You
03. Faith Amongst the Unknown
04. I Cover the Waterfront
05. I Remember
06. Dedication
07. My Romance
08. Toku-do
09. Minority

As with his previous effort, 2015’s A Million Colors in Your Mind, pianist Cyrus Chestnut’s second Highnote release, 2016’s Natural Essence, finds him communing with two veteran artists for a deeply heartfelt and swinging session. Whereas last time Chestnut was joined by bassist David Williams and drummer Victor Lewis, here he has conscripted the talents of bassist Buster Williams and drummer Lenny White. Both Williams and White are industry icons with decades of playing experience and credits with such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Tony Williams, McCoy Tyner, and many others. While many of Chestnut’s recordings lean toward the strait-laced and straight-ahead approach to modern jazz, he is by no means a reserved musical traditionalist.


On the contrary, while he is adept at swinging acoustic jazz, one of his most formative experiences was as a member of vocalist Betty Carter’s trio. A genre-bending maverick, Carter purportedly encouraged Chestnut to try new things and approach even the most well-known standard in an unexpected way. That expectation defying aesthetic fits nicely into Chestnut’s work here with Williams and White, who come from a generation of jazz musicians who grew up playing electrified fusion, funk, and highly progressive post-bop influenced by the avant-garde. While the music here is more stripped down to the jazz essentials, they nonetheless tackle even the most well-known standard, like “It Could Happen to You,” with a creative ebullience and in-the-moment spontaneity that grab your attention throughout. Also thrilling are the trio’s takes on several original compositions, including Chestnut’s sophisticated, minor-tinged “Faith Amongst the Unknown,” White’s languid, urbane ballad “Dedication,” and Williams’ soulful, roiling “Toku-Do.”

Double Bass โ€“ Buster Williams
Drums โ€“ Lenny White
Piano โ€“ Cyrus Chestnut