Step Tempest review of “Padme”

Nice review of Padme on the Step Tempest blog here:

Link: Step Tempest

The review is way down the page, so scroll to see it. Here is the text of the review if you don’t want to visit the site.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pianist/composer Caili O’Doherty hails from Portland, Oregon, and reached musical maturity under the tutelage of Danilo Perez and Marco Pignataro at the Berklee College of Music in its Berklee Global Jazz Institute. She has performed in venues around the world bringing her talents to women’s shelters, orphanages and prisons as well as concert halls and clubs. Ms. O’Doherty also teaches in the Jazz at Lincoln Center WeBop program.

She has just issued her debut album, “Padme”, on her Odo Records label, not only producing the sessions but also writing and arranging all the pieces. The basic band includes Zach Brown (bass) and drummer Cory Cox (on all tracks but “Prayer Song” where Adam Cruz sits in the chair) with a number of guests throughout the program. Alto saxophonist Caroline Davis joins the band on 4 of the 9 tracks, adding wordless vocals on “Ode to St. Johns” which also features trombonist Eric Miller. The alto saxophonist is the other featured voice on “Stumptown”, a rousing tune that show the influence of Perez in its construction and the playful piano solo. Tenor saxophonist Ben Flocks and violinist Alex Hargreaves play on 3 tracks; along with trombonist Miller, they create a mini-orchestra behind the trio on several tracks including “The Promise of Old Panama City” and the lovely ballad “Prayer Song”. On the latter cut, Flocks’ tenor takes the lead on the melody and then, after a fine bass solo, the tempo picks up and he creates a strong solo statement. Guitarist Mike Bono join the trio on the title track, his rippling phases cutting nicely alongside the rich piano chords. Cox and Brown create quire a fire underneath the soloists. Ms. O’Doherty switches to electric piano on “Rose Baiâo”, a piece that has a Brazilian feel and an excellent melody that opens to reveal strong solos from the leader and Ms. Davis. On “89 Chestnut Street”, one of the 2 Trio tracks, Ms O’Doherty revels in her formidable “chops”, a joyous romp for all involved.

What truly stands out on this recording is the maturity of the melodies, the strength of Caili O’Doherty’s playing and the excellent arrangements. The guests are not for show, they really are part of the songs on which they appear, and understand and add greatly to the “stories” the composer is telling. The rhythm section is such an integral part of this music as well. They listen, they react, they are also equal partners in the success of this endeavor.

Caili O’Doherty, at 23 years of age, has all the makings of a true jazz artist. Composer, arranger, teacher, soloist, producer and fundraiser, her debut recording circumvents the rules for most new artists. “Padme” has no standards, no covers of rock tunes, no “sweetening” with synths or string sections. Listen, savor and imagine how bright her future will be.

Posted by Richard B. Kamins at 10:07 PM