The eight tunes that comprise Narrative provide over an hour of music and are all original compositions/arrangements by Van Seters. The variety of his musical imagination ranges from lilting jazz waltzes and sensitive ballads to mode based excursions and tunes with bop tinged angular melodies. Van Seters also exemplifies in his compositional craft a keen sense of balance between familiar sounds and unique twists of surprise.
Van Seters’ compositions/arrangements are all well executed by his quintet. Superb musicianship is exemplified by their very tight ensemble playing. A swinging rhythm section that maintains a relaxed yet driving foundation further enhances this precision. Soloing by Van Seters, saxophonist Mike Murley, trumpeter/flugelhornist Kevin Turcotte, and bassist Fraser Hollins demonstrates highly imaginative and creative spontaneous music making. The exceptional clarity and channel separation on the CD raise the recording quality of Narrative to a standard in the same league as the finest in recorded jazz.
Narrative by the Tom Van Seters quintet is on all counts an excellent recording and a distinct pleasure to listen to. Narrative is without a doubt a recording that should be included in any jazz CD collection and certainly leads one to look forward to Van Seters’ next opus.