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Lin Rountree — Serendipitous

Sept. 2, 2013

Could trumpeter Lin Rountree have wanted to convey a message to jazz fans that his latest release, Serendipitous, is aptly titled because of perhaps some great discoveries or revelations about his music — or life in general? Maybe, but, since I’m not privy to his innermost thoughts, I think it best to let this strong album speak for itself. Maybe therein lies the answer.  Actually, this well-polished album packs such a substantial wallop that it probably makes such ruminations unnecessary for most.

Working over the tracks with a meticulous approach, Rountree uses the magic of his trumpet to take you on a wonderfully melodic journey. In a gesture that clearly was meant to dress this project in the finest garb, he adds an assembly of well-regarded artists who contribute so very nicely to the album: keyboardist/pianist/composer Nate Harasim (who also doubles on guitar on certain tracks), saxmen Darren Rahn and Randy Scott, flutist Althea Rene, and a host of others, including young Nicholas Cole who offers his noteworthy writing skills to the mix, as well.

These tracks all have their own magnetic appeal and charm, whether we’re talking about cool and mellow tunes like the lead track, appropriately titled “We Chill,” the seductive title track (which takes “chill” to another plateau), the sweet mellow allure of Althea Rene’s flute on “In the Day,” the sweet finale “Takin’ It Slow,” the slick and kinda bluesy “Why So,” or something funkier and motor-driven like “Gutter Funk” featuring saxman Randy Scott (now, that title suggests some serious funk, I’d say, and Rountree delivers), “Dance With Me,” featuring the charming vocals of Anna Stevenson (definitely one of my faves), and the equally funky “Get Down” featuring saxman Darren Rahn.

Is there a message behind Rountree’s choice of a title for this wonderful work? Maybe now’s not the time to wonder about that. Just settle back and let the music take you, soothe you, excite you, and own you for a while.  It’s more than capable of doing any and all of these. – Ronald Jackson

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