Noah Howard Noah Howard



Release Date: 31st January 2007
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  1. First meeting – 6:31
  2. Chatelet – 10:01
  3. Slow road – 11:39
  4. Lovers – 4:35
  5. Oh! so is life – 12:27
  6. Ritual – 12:08
  7. African Harp – 9:13

About the album

CONVERGENCE defines this recording on many levels. The interactions and occurances of the people involved has shown a deeper level of harmony that allowed this recording to be so spontaneous. We decided to record this CD just days before it happened and just days after our first meeting in this incarnation, playing the New York Jazz Festival. Once we made the decision to record, I went flipping through my scores and found what was to become the music on this CD. For the most part my arrangements were created without paper, and without much verbal direction, as I felt this would keep the music fresher. There were many moments where we had no idea what would happen next, but somehow our intuition seemed to lead us to the right place. We went into the studio on the 23rd of June 1997, six years to the day after I had written ‘The Umbrella Man” for Bobby Few. It was Bobby who sent me to Noah to sub for him on the Festival gig. Thanks Bobby.

Chris Chalfant

Recording: New York City, 2007
Label: Chris Chalfant Music (2306-7)

Recorded with

Chris Chalfant – piano, vocals
Noah Howard – alto sax
Wilber Morris – bass
Calyer Duncan – drums

Album Review

1. First Meeting 6:31 – This playful rhythmic strut sets a fine tone for Chris’ daring new release. A pulsating surge of powerful energy is stated on this track.

2. Chatelet 10:0 I – Written in Paris in 1990, it is a picturesque ‘folk train” that journeys through the four seasons. Starting simply, Chatelet builds in rhythmic and tonal complexity, while maintaining a strong ostinato.

3. Slow Road 11:39 – Slow Road begins with a sensuous, almost intimidating line, like a walk down an alley after midnight. Rather than a bridge to contrast the line, Chris’ solo surprises us by delivering a brave departure into the unexpected. One wonders what corners she’ll turn next.

4. Lovers 4:35 – A welcome ballad sung by Chris, Lovers is reminiscent of the European chanteuse genre with it’s haunting melody. This tune fits well in the context of this recording.

5. Ah! So is life 12:27 – A sweet collaboration between lyric and music, this tune joyfully blends the two. A fine journey and a welcome return, there are many surprises on this track.

6. Ritual 12:08 – An unbroken rhythmic line sets the backdrop for this meditation into Chris’ familiar place-the unknown. Here, Noah’s alto is bright, remaining melodically closer to the tune, while Chris’ chordal contrasts often sound like a percussionist’s third hand. Calyer is well at ease with Chris’ playing.

7. African Harp 9:13 – This tune is fluid and it breathes easy, like the lyrical chanting sung by Chris. It is a smooth ending to this recording session. Chris Chalfant has a rare gift. In her music she uses tradition as a springboard for her journeys into those interesting, sometimes dark corners few musicians dare to explore. Simply put, her music is fearless.
- Andrew Nielson