Global Concertos arose from a desire to celebrate individual expression and virtuosity of musicians outside of Western classical music. The concerto form is used as a way to elevate and support a diverse cast of guest soloists.
Under the conduction of Joshua Kohl, Boshnack and her ensemble provide robust compositional frameworks for each soloist, while also pushing them beyond their comfort zones. From the first strains of Prarthona, featuring Indian classical vocalist Srivani Jade, the authenticity of Boshnack’s project is crystalline. The lyrics are from a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, whose ode to absolute freedom is an ideal vehicle for Jade’s meticulous ornaments. The Concerto for Julio provides artful contrast. Written for pianist Julio Jáuregui, this piece draws on Jáuregui’s Latin American roots and exploits the piano as a percussion instrument. It’s also the most atmospherically varied of the concertos, flipping through scenery as if through a beloved photo album. In the Concerto for Christos, Macedonian multi-instrumentalist Christos Govetas, here on clarinet, brings a distinctly Balkan flavor to the proceedings. The energy is inviting, the writing evocative, and the execution both of those things. While rhythm has always been a key component of Boshnack’s writing, her Concerto for Talking Drum takes that dynamic to a whole new level, as Senegalese percussionist Thione Diop brings his organic mastery of the West African talking drum to bear on this deft combination of African and Western motifs. Last is the Concerto for Jazz Trumpet, written for Seattle-native Thomas Marriott. The dedicatee’s tone is bright yet musky and carries it with a heavy charge. As the most overtly jazz-oriented of the concertos, it is emblematic for its spontaneity.
Whereas Boshnack’s last album, Exploding Syndrome, focused on extroversions, here she has given us an intelligent array that is decidedly intimate, even cinematic, in texture. Fans and newcomers alike won’t want to miss this statement from one of the most original voices in West Coast jazz, and beyond.
Equally reminiscent of Charles Mingus and Ennio Morricone, swinging spaghetti western gypsy junkyard jazz wrapped in Boshnack’s grand, sophisticated compositions. (City Arts Magazine)
Like the group’s name, one cannot really categorize Ms. Boshnack’s music….exciting, melodic, at times quite fascinating and great fun. (Step Tempest)
Samantha Boshnack’s open voicings, jaunty tempos and buoyant timbral mixes have a friendly monster feel that achieves a bittersweet and elegiac mood of orchestral grandeur. (Downbeat)