Flutist David Bertrand teams up with Rafal Sarnecki/eg, Rus Wimbish/b and Carter Bales/dr for a lovely collection of lively compositions. Guest soprano saxist Chris Bacas joins in for lovely unison lines on a dreamy “South 1st,” but the rest of the time Bertrand links with Sarnecki’s guitar for rich intertwining melodies, as on the flowing “Lexington 63rd” and a nimble take of “Solar.” The team cooks up a Caribbean dish on “Palmyra” and gets a bit of Afro Funk for the grooving “Wood Slave.” Bluesy woodwinds created a rich texture for the backbeat of “Claude’s Nariva” with Bales giving a sensuous samba for “Fire Island.” Satisfying and richly relaxing.
George W Harris, April 26th 2018, Jazz Weekly
The flute, in jazz music, has a less prominent place than the saxophone or trumpet, but in this new album New York-based Trinidadian flautist David Bertrand makes a sincere attempt to expand the repertoire of the instrument. Seven of the eight tracks of sublime quartet playing are new compositions by Bertrand: the listener is given an opportunity also to revel in the studied application of jazz language to the inherent native vernacular of Trinidadian rhythm and tone. The titles of the tunes also suggest the idea that this is a subliminal musical autobiography: “Palmyra”, “Claude’s Nariva” and “Wood Slave” recalling Bertrand’s home island’s habitat and fauna; “Lexington and 63rd” and “245 South 1st” offering a survey of his New York present. The result is testament to the continued strides made by musical émigrés from the Caribbean to an American diaspora, inspiring art that takes no prisoners.
Nigel Campbell, March/ April 2018, Caribbean Beat Magazine
This is the premiere release from David Bertrand (flutes, bass clarinet), a native of Trinidad now residing in New York. All but one of the songs on this disc are Bertrand’s compositions. Bertrand is accompanied by Rafal Sarnecki (electric guitar), Rus Wimbish (bass), and Carter Bales (drums) with the addition of Chris Bacas (soprano sax) on one song. While initially a player of Trinidadian music, Bertrand has also been influenced by jazz musicians Joe Farrell and Kent Jordan. The overall performance is fresh and quite appealing and the interaction between Bertrand and Sarnecki is fantastic.
Dave Rogers, February 12th 2018, WTJU 91.1 FM
Jazz flute hasn't been this much fun since Hubert Laws was a young blood. The Trinidadian took on New York and a lot of good rubbed off on both of them. A modern, angular set, this is anything but background music and commands your full attention when you are sitting down to enjoy it. A tasty work that pushes everything forward nicely, it has a vibe you just can't resist.
Chris Spector, January 30th 2018, Midwest Record