Q'D Up - SQ'D Horizons

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Tantara Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:16:00

What happens when faculty members of the Brigham Young School of Music get together and make music? Well they are instantly Q'D UP and ready to record an album, what else? Utah is not synonymous with jazz by any stretch of the imagination, although this quintet leaves the door open for change on that thought. One look at the decidedly ancient civilization (i.e. Mayan or Inca) influenced artwork on the CD may promote thoughts that this is a decidedly Latin jazz-based release, well think again, the picture definitely does not tell the story. Q'D UP is Ray Smith (saxophone, flutes, WX-7 wind controller), Jay Lawrence (vibes, drums, percussion), Ron Brough (drums, percussion, steel drums), Lars Yorgason (bass), Steve Lindeman (keyboards) and special guest Kelly Eisenhour, who adds her vocals to the mix for an added ambiance and flavor.

Q'D UP tickled my fancy in such a way that I wanted to keep spinning their CD repeatedly, with each successive listen becoming more enjoyable, it made me realize just how infrequently this kind of thing happens (I review 30-40 CDs per month). Their new release S'Q Horizons is a hodgepodge of jazz delights. Not only are they skilled musicians they are equally talented arrangers and composers, offering the listener original compositions to enjoy. I usually try to let the readers know what genre and sub-genre the music I review falls into, with Q'D UP I felt quite challenged to do so. They have a nice contemporary sound but it comes with a specific twist in every track, so I placed them in just jazz specifically, without any further introspection about what they are or could be. It seems former Down Beat editor Dan Morgenstern shares my enthusiasm for the band as well. He gives quite an introduction and tribute to the band in the CD booklet as well as an informative guide to each track.

With various instruments utilized (25 to be exact) such as steel drums and vibes, different atmospheres are created thereby sending you off to distant lands in your minds eye in a matter of seconds. Steel drums provide a distinct island essence while the vibes set the precedence for a more contemporary westernized feel, these are a few examples of the eclectic palette of jazz colors offered on this five star CD. Kelly Eisenhour is a prolific vocalist on "One Note Samba" and the gorgeous cult classic "Nature Boy" (by Eden Ahbez). Her contributions offer an element that is most forthcoming and exceptionally pleasing. She proves to be a seasoned professional with plenty of talent to handle any piece that comes her way. Her sweet vocalizations give the music an entirely different richness that complements the wonderful instrumentation provided by this ultra talented quintet.

Jazz with such variety and intricacy is so interesting and refreshing to hear. I have no doubt at all, that this CD will satisfy the most discerning and educated music listener without fail.

One Note Samba (4:35) / Hohenzollern (5:32) / I Love You (5:27) / Q'd Up (4:47) / Surrey With The Fringe On Top (4:49) / Nature Boy (8:03) / Waltz For Linda (7:51) / Felicidade (6:53) / First Samuel (7:10) / Eulogy (8:24) / SK, No J (6:45)

Ray Smith - saxophone, flutes, WX-7 wind controller
Jay Lawrence-vibes, drums, percussion
Ron Brough - drums, percussion, steel drums
Lars Yorgason ? bass
Steve Lindeman ? keyboards

Special Guest:

Kelly Eisenhour ? vocals

Q'd Up (1999)
Sq'd Horizons (2002)

Genre: Jazz-Trad. Jazz

Origin US

Added: February 9th 2004
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 992
Language: english


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