Sunnie Paxson – Bohemian Sun

Pianist Sunnie Paxson gives a stellar performance on her latest CD titled Bohemian Sun. The recording features her performing in a variety of formats (from solo to septet) accompanied by an array of highly talented musicians. Among them is the multiple GRAMMY Award-winning executive producer/bassist/composer Stanley Clarke who also signed Ms. Paxson to his Roxboro Entertainment label. Ronald Bruner, Jr. plays drums, while such respected musicians as percussionist Munyungo Jackson, drummer Michael White, vocalist Rod Maurice and a four-member string quartet make guest appearances on selected tracks.  Ms. Paxson wrote 7 of the 13 compositions on the recording. Two originals by Herbie Hancock and Stanley Clarke (“Dolphin Dance,” and “Three Wrong Notes” respectively), plus 4 traditional jazz compositions round out the program.

Sunnie Paxson’s modern jazz sound is upbeat and intriguing. The songs sound as if they were recorded live because of the spontaneity and invigorating quality of the sound.  On “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love,” Ms. Paxson plays solo and communicates this rarely heard Charlie Mingus classic with a very personal and intimate feeling. This solo discovery is one of the best performances on the recording. By contrast, Ms. Paxson’s performance in a trio setting with Stanley Clarke on bass and Ron Bruner, Jr. on drums is quite assessable. Together their interplay on such songs as “Seabound,” “Dolphin Dance,” and “Three Wrong Notes,” gives the listener a complete listening challenge and sentimental appeal.

“Stella By Starlight,” “Something for Nothing” and “One Step Beyond” all lend themselves to classical music and love themes. The movements and phenomenal bowed bass solo by Clarke in “Stella By Starlight” and  the addition of a string quartet (whose music was arranged by Sunnie Paxson) to the latter two songs feature commendable performances by Ms. Paxson. Each of these songs provides a glimpse into the borderless creativity of Ms. Paxson who makes the challenge of creating dozens of songs for Bohemian Sun seem easy.

Her winking nod to Javad Maroufi on “Khabhaye Talaei” is a further expression of Paxson’s ingenuity which spans from the modern sounds of contemporary jazz to this dynamic interpretation of Maroufi’s beautiful music. Overall, Bohemian Sun puts the woman behind the music directly in the spotlight and there you will find a diverse musical personality whose interesting perspectives and renditions will make you an instant fan. Buy Bohemian Sun today.

Reprinted with permission of…
Sounds of Timeless Jazz