Alto Saxophonist Remy Le Boeuf Aims For Intimacy & Restraint
on his bandleader debut, Light as a Word (Outside In Music)
Out May 24, 2019, the album features longtime friends & collaborators, Walter Smith III (tenor sax), Aaron Parks (piano), Charles Altura (guitar),
Matt Brewer (double bass) & Peter Kronreif (drums)
On the dozen tracks comprising Light as a Word, Remy’s highly anticipated debut as sole bandleader, the 32-year-old’s gifts make a gorgeous, powerful argument for center stage. As he explains, Light as a Word is, in essence, the sound of complete creative freedom. “I didn’t need to compromise on this album,” he says. “There was no resistance. I could just do what I do.”
Funnily enough, Remy’s unfettered artistic vision is in fact one of profound musical empathy—a series of sonic dialogues in which a fantastic band digs deeper and deeper into its technical and emotional chemistry. “My musical values are built around communication,” Remy says. “I value conversation, interaction, intimacy, authenticity and the ability to capture emotion. I chose this band specifically because they help me achieve that.” To keep the interplay fresh and intriguing, Remy made a point not to over-compose. (For a musician well versed in large-scale orchestration, that’s no small act of restraint.)
Emotionally direct while also being dictated by the desires of the ensemble, the expression on display runs the gamut—from the thoughtfully explosive performances on “Full Circle”; to “The Melancholy Architecture of Storms,” written with the poet Sara Pirkle Hughes, in which the band whirls in and around the saxophonists’ fervent discourse; to the reflective, wistful edge of “Vista Hermosa,” an homage to the gospel-tinged brilliance of Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band; and “Union,” an exercise in heartrending melody that Remy crafted for his sister’s wedding.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Remy’s collaborators here are also among the most talented and influential jazz artists currently at work, and some of his dearest and oldest friends in music. Remy and tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III form a robust, conversational frontline, playing with, off and against each other in ways that feel contemporary while also evoking the language of a classic dual-sax hookup like Cannonball and Coltrane. Pianist Aaron Parks is a generous presence throughout the album, bolstering the harmony but artfully creating space, interpreting the classical undercurrents in Le Boeuf’s compositions, and acting as a font of melody in his solos.
Remy has been collaborating with the bassist Matt Brewer for a decade—he appears on House Without a Door—and his nimble, tuneful approach fits this ensemble and material like a glove. The Austrian-born drummer Peter Kronreif has toured with Le Boeuf Brothers over the past eight years. “Peter really understands the way I think,” Remy says. “I love how he shapes my compositions, and how he plays with a tremendous dynamic range.” Remy’s fellow native Northern Californian Charles Altura, a go-to guitarist for Chick Corea and Terence Blanchard, appears on a couple of tracks, including “Imperfect Paradise,” where his solo is positively combustible.
RELEASE DATE: MAY 24, 2019
PUBLICITY CONTACT: Matt Merewitz / Fully Altered Media / firstname.lastname@example.org