Esthesis Quartet | Time Zones (March 2023)

Esthesis is a group made up of four women: Pianist and vocalist Dawn Clement, resident in Denver, USA, highly sought after in musical environments and who has recorded six albums to her name. Flutist Elsa Nilson, born in Gothenburg, Sweden, located for more than a decade in Brooklyn, New York.

He has released seven albums as a leader. Bassist Emma Dayhuff, resident in Chicago, USA, who has given master classes in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cuba and Australia. Lastly, drummer Tina Raymond, from Los Angeles, San Francisco. An important voice in contemporary Los Angeles improvised music, combining jazz with African polyrhythm and classical percussion techniques.

“Time Zones” is the second album by this quartet after the eponymous “Esthesis” from 2021. The title refers to the fact that the four live in different time zones within the United States.

The album was created during the confinement of the Covid pandemic. Via Zoom, they shared their compositions. As restrictions eased Nilsson, Clement and Dayhuff joined Raymond in Los Angeles to perform and record their music.

All the songs on the album are originals. Dawn Clement signs three: “Blue Light”, represents the lights of the night and the flashing traffic lights after a workday that has extended beyond midnight (as Clement often does).

After a calm beginning of double bass by Dayhuff, the song picks up pace until reaching the dialogue between flute and percussion, to return to its initial, calmer state, which is taken care of by the piano and a flute that continues playing until its completion. ; “The New Yorker” where he plays the piano and sings. The lyrics, which tell the story of a relationship that is doomed to physical separation when one of them moves to Paris, is what gave rise to the album’s title: “Soon you and I will exist/In different time zones.”

The song is inspired by the poem “Scylla and Charybdis” by contemporary poet Megan Fernandes. Clement’s beautiful voice and excellent accompaniment of flute, piano and percussion; and “Hollywood,” which is the nickname drummer Matt Wilson gave Clement because of his sunglasses. The four components shine with their respective solos and brilliant accompaniments.

For her part, Elsa Nilsson is the composer of two of the tracks on the album: “First Light” takes us to those sweet moments of waking up in the morning, before harsh reality takes over us.

A warm ballad where the four performers shine equally; and “Getting Through” which is about the process of overcoming difficult situations, both internal and external. Fast tempo facilitated by the rhythm section to which the flute is incorporated.

Drummer Tina Raymond signs two: “Brush Fire” inspired by the 2018 Woolsey Malibu Fire that burned nearly 100,000 acres across two counties. Like fire, it begins little by little and gradually grows, intensifying its energy until reaching a final catharsis; and “Serial”.

As its title already indicates, it reminds us of the detective series of the 60s, as if it were a detective with its chases, intrigues and a thousand and one lurking dangers.

Esthesis, a high energy jazz band.

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