Sean Mason – The Southern Suite (ENG review)

Blue Engine Records – Street date October 27th 2023
Sean Mason – The Southern Suite (ENG review)

What Blue Origin Records tells us about Sean Mason: Sean Mason, a young prodigy who has garnered praise and support from both Wynton and Branford Marsalis, blends the melodic and captivating compositions that combine the elegance of his native North Carolina with the urban sophistication of his current residence in New York. “Closure” showcases Mason grappling with duality, as the composition represents…
In fact, Sean Mason carries on the tradition of jazz as we have known it for a long time, but with all his fervor and arranging talent that makes instruments sound like no one else can. An album full of delightful surprises, such as the track “Kid,” which indeed makes us think of a child running around singing little ditties. You can even detect a rock edge in Sean Mason’s compositions that might make your head spin, but he knows how to handle it and will always find a way to slip in a more soothing but still joyful and vibrant piece here and there. Here’s what Sean Mason himself says about this album: “The Southern Suite” comes from a star-studded quintet chosen by Mason: Tony Glausi (trumpet), Chris Lewis (tenor saxophone), Felix Moseholm (bass), and Domo Branch (drums). Mason recalls: “It was during the first rehearsal that we realized how special of a group we were. We had only played my first two songs when we all stopped, exchanged glances, smiled… and said, ‘Wow, we should record this.’ “This album is at the crossroads of ‘renaissance’ and ‘street culture,” explains Mason. “Each song represents a departure from the traditionalism and cultural norms I’ve often felt compelled to conform to, pushing me to embrace the convergence of such contradictory concepts and embody them through musical language.”
A beautiful lineup on this album with Sean Mason on piano, Chris Lewis on tenor saxophone, Tony Glausi on trumpet, Felix Mads-Moseholm on bass, Domo Branch on drums, and the dream team to accompany it all:
Executive Producer: Wynton Marsalis
Mix Consultant: Branford Marsalis
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Todd Whitelock
Recorded at PowerStation/ Berklee NYC – Studio A; July 18,19,20, 2022
Assisted by: Teng Chen, Brett Mayer
Mixed at Sear Sound, Studio A; Sept.12,13 & Oct.24, 2022
Assisted by: Steve Sacco
ProTools Engineer: Chris Gold

For the editorial teams at Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move, it’s impossible not to award the “Essential” ranking to this album.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, October 28th 2023


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