FREE pre-performance talk with the artist, 6:45 - 7:15 p.m., Weis Center Atrium Lobby
Acclaimed tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana follows up her 2014 Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio album with the explorative and deeply swinging Back Home. Pablo Menares, Aldana's fellow native of Santiago, Chile, is again on bass. On drums is Jochen Rueckert, bringing a supple and unpredictable rhythmic élan to the session. These three musicians turn on a dime and project an uncommonly full orchestral sound, rich in spiritual intensity, all in the absence of a harmony instrument. The album's title Back Home might seem to evoke Chile, which Aldana left in 2007. In fact, Aldana reveals, Back Home "is not really related to Chile itself. It's related to the first time I picked up the tenor [sax] and I heard Sonny Rollins." The closing title track carries strong echoes of Rollins' playful spirit, and reveals much about Aldana's evolution from a 6-year-old alto saxophone player to "a bold new talent," according to NPR, and one of the most compelling and prodigious tenor saxophonists of her time.
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