In the Now, the debut album from the John Yao Quintet, signals the definitive arrival of trombonist and composer, John Yao. Demonstrating a broad textural palette and drawing from an array of stylistic influences, Yao explores the concept of opposing forces—of chaos and order, together and apart, individual and group. Each of the album’s eight tracks bears a unique identity, ranging from hard-hitting, experimental jazz to ballads that exude passion, tenderness, complexity, and understanding. In the Now is a musical journey beyond conventional jazz form and structure, with the ensemble winding skillfully through a wide range of moods, colors, and textures.
The title track unleashes a tight but frenzied rhythm section that supports both a simple flowing melody and unfettered, dynamic solos. On tracks like “Divisions” and “Funky Sunday,” Yao floats rubato melodies over compelling grooves. In addition to funk vamps, modal jams, post-bop melodies, and driving swing, the John Yao Quintet also executes two lyrical ballads: the seductive love song “For NDJ” and the somber yet colorful “Shorter Days.” Produced by Grammy Award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra’s Luis Bonilla, the John Yao Quintet executes Yao’s distinctive compositions with intensity and presence.
“Spirited and well-executed, In the Now bristles with energy.”
- Franz Matzner, All About Jazz
“Sonic texture, brilliant colors and moving beyond conventional form and function with purpose and direction has In The Now as a gem for 2012 and a release one should not overlook!”
- Brent Black, Critical Jazz
“An album for old and new school jazz fans alike, and a terribly promising sign that this is Yao’s debut album. I’m already looking forward to what comes next.”
- David Sumner, Bird is the Worm
released April 24, 2012
John Yao, Trombone
Jon Irabagon, Alto & Soprano Saxes
Randy Ingram, Piano
Leon Boykins, Bass
Will Clark, Drums
New York City based trombonist, composer, arranger and bandleader. Leader of two working bands, John Yao Quintet and John
Yao & His 17-piece Instrument. Downbeat writes, "John Yao makes it clear he’s not content to stand still." All About Jazz says, "Yao, a clear rising star with a lot to say, never says the same thing twice..."...more