The Dept. of Good and Evil is the latest endeavor featuring pianist, Rachel Z; and also, serves as the moniker for the versatile trio. This astonishing CD reveals the diverse tastes of a musical ensemble that is crossing into an undiscovered segment of jazz.
The trio offers original compositions written by Rachel Z, collaborative fare with Bobbie Rae, and covers of Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter tunes. This eclectic range of material is atypical, and entirely innovative on the part of the trio.
One of these innovative interpretations is the 80’s rockers, The Church’s (Milky Way"), which is a more cerebral and mature slant. In addition, Rachel Z transforms an array of pop classics to indie cuts starting from The Police ("King of Pain"), Joy Division ("Love Will Tear Us Apart"), Yeah Yeah Yeah ("Maps") and Death Cab For Cutie ("Soul Meets Body"). The aforementioned covers are unusual choices; and reflect the numerous influences that have shaped their distinct sound.
In particular, on "Soul Meets Body" the rhythmic swing is primal and creates a hypnotic lull to the ear. Also, guest trumpeter, Erik Naslund (featured on five tracks) skillfully manipulates said melodies by implementing riffs and harmonizations that are wholly singular interpretations.The virtuosity of Rachel Z’s playing, reigns supremely in the tonal qualities evoked on each track. On "King of Pain," the poignant intro features the coupling of the piano and trumpet, foretelling the moving mastery that is sure to follow. Lastly, Henderson’s ("Inner Urge") and Shorter’s ("ESP") blend adequately with the other compositions; and illustrate ample reinventions of these popular melodies.
Dept. of Good and Evil provides an extraordinary blend of compositions and cover materials that demonstrates the ever-changing future of jazz.