A companion record to ‘Winter Bare’ which suggests that with the changing of the seasons comes hope, and Bossa nova
ack in April, Jeremy Bass released Winter Bare, the first of his seasonally-based records. Influenced by a love of Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash, it documented the dual assault of a brutal winter and a rough divorce. Now comes New York In Spring, a companion piece that suggest the dark days are finally over.
This time inspiration is provided by the world of Bossa nova, in particular the composer Jobim and the guitarists Luis Bonfa and Baden Powell de Aquino. Bass and his live band inject a feeling of detached cool to proceedings on tracks such as Style and Work and their natural flair for the genre is clearly apparent.
On occasions the album slips into the dodgy middle ground between lift and lounge music. The cover of John Lennon’s Julia in particular, which manages to add an extra level of syrupy sweetness to a track that hardly needs further sentiment. However, on the title track Bass and his band get the balance just right and the result is a sumptuous ballad which ebbs and flows just like life in the song’s title.
New York In Spring may be slightly hit or miss in places but so are the tentative steps of anyone looking to put themselves back out into the world, and it takes a brave person to try.
Verdict: Full of heart and Bossa nova grooves. Nice.