Good heavens, Natalie Cressman is only 20 and she's pulling things together like she's twice that. Here we have Natalie Cressman and her band Secret Garden, giving us her debut CD Unfolding (self-released). It's Natalie playing a very hip, very burnished trombone in a post-JJ way, fronting the three horn front line with trumpeter Ivan Rosenberg and tenorist Chad Lefkowicz-Brown (with Peter Apfelbaum guesting on one cut), then there's Pascal Le Boeuf on keys, Reuben Samama, bass, Jake Goldbas, drums. It's a very capable band.
She writes all the numbers here (except a couple of standards) and they go from from masterful hard-boppish lines to singer-songwriter songs that have a lot to them.
Then she sings too. It's a very personal sort of voice, sweet, soulful, jazz inflected.
The album travels through a lot of territory without seeming out-of-place. It's some very good freewheeling, musically straightahead sounds that impact from the sheer musicality of it all, as jazz, as good horn playing, as very attractive vocalisms.
I'd say, "Welcome Natalie Cressman, welcome to the Schwann Catalog," only I don't know if they are still publishing it (you know, the bible of available recordings for many years). At any rate welcome Natalie Cressman. She is a most welcome artist to the scene. This CD is very lovely.