Country : Canada Label : TPR Records Genres and styles : Jazz Year : 2024

Sarah Jerrom – Magpie

· by Frédéric Cardin

Toronto singer/songwriter Sarah Jerrom’s difficult ordeal of miscarriage led her to pay attention to many details of everyday life that she hadn’t previously paid as much attention to. It was the observation of a strangely coordinated flight of a flock of magpies that captivated her to the point of making it the source of an artistic-conceptual narrative, which became the basis of the eight-movement suite Magpie

Magpie is written for a vast jazz ensemble of 14 woodwinds and brass instruments, with the addition of a piano/double bass/drums trio and a vocal quartet including Jerrom herself. From Jerrom’s harmonies emanate a gentle light and a great deal of hope. Magpie is a cathartic approach imbued with beauty and a radiant outlook, where melancholy remains an anchor but never an overbearing attitude. The rich, complex writing knits beautiful phrases that interweave in a counterpoint that engages all sections of the orchestra, as well as the voices and soloists. We sail between sunny impressionism and high-class jazz, carried by a clear, precisely focused narrative vision. 

Touching discourse, seductive music, sometimes grandiose but never grandiloquent, high quality interpretations, this is an album you shouldn’t pass up without immersing yourself in. You’ll come away feeling cleansed, more receptive to the beauty and hope that exist all around us, despite life’s hard knocks. A magnificent lesson in resilience wrapped up in an emotionally authentic creation.

Her website doesn’t mention any upcoming concerts. That’s too bad. Any good jazz festival should include Magpie in its program. In any case, I’d certainly like to see and hear this Magpie here in Montreal! For those who may be reading this, take note…

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