CD Review: Language of the Heart
Language of the Heart
D-Erania – Alto and soprano saxophones
Robert Irving III – Keyboards
Tony Cazeau – Keyboards
Isaiah Sharkey – Guitar
Aaron Weistrop – Guitar
Keith King – Drums
Makaya McCraven – Drums
D’Artagnon Gunn – Drums
Sammie Torres – Percussion
Sharay Reed – Bass
It has been over a decade since saxophonist and composer D-Erania released her debut album, D-Erania’s Offerings of Love. Her sophomore effort, Language of the Heart, makes this long wait worthwhile. The current album is all original material that represents the crystallization of D-Erania’s musical vision. Where the first release was a collection of random, intriguing ideas, the second is a cohesive work that is unique and channels many of the saxophonist’s artistic influences.
The title track is a tender lilting tune with D-Erania building a dreamy soundscape with her resonant lines over the rhythm section’s undulating flourishes. Her inventive solo shimmers with romanticism while eschewing syrupiness. Pianist Tony Cazeau underscores the leader’s lyricism with his muscular, yet tender refrains.
Cazeau spices up the fluid melody of the infectious “Native Beauty” with clusters of angular notes. His rolling keys and bassist Sharay Reed’s thumping beats add the right amount of electric instrumentation to the tune. Drummer Keith King and percussionist Sammie Torres provide a restless undercurrent with their reverberant rumble. Over this exciting melee, D-Erania embellishes the main theme with crackling spontaneity before she launches into her agile solo with boppish virtuosity and soulful swagger.
The centerpiece of this superb disc is the cinematic “Laelia’s Dream.” Intrepid drummer Makaya McCraven joins Torres in providing a thunderous intro to the saxophonist’s graceful and lithe performance. Together with Cazeau’s muted chords and Reed’s dark reverberations, the band builds an intricate, organic backdrop. D-Erania’s emotive and contemplative improvisation meanders far from the main theme while staying within its purview. The result is an expressive soliloquy that is a bit melancholic, sometimes jubilant and filled with a poetic sense.
Language Of The Heart successfully balances accessibility and imagination. D-Erania has created a work that has wide appeal without sacrificing originality, one with plenty of inspired artistry that is solidly mainstream. This record is portent of a brilliant career for this promising and talented musician.