The Chronicles are feel-good music. The Albany-based six-piece (with occasional guests) combine a variety of genres, taking elements of modern and classic jazz, hip hop, funk and R&B, and blend it into their signature feel-good sound.
I’ve caught the Chronicles live several times over the years, including at the Big Up festival, the Bella Terra festival and at the BeatShot music fest, and have always enjoyed myself. Like I said, feel-good music.
This Friday marks their long-anticipated debut with their first full studio album, which is appropriately self-titled. I was a bit surprised to learn that this is their first full-length endeavor but I also think that helps add to the value of the album, especially considering how impeccable their live sets consistently are.
Comprised of Bryan Brundige (trombone), Jeff Nania (flute, alto and tenor saxophone), Justin Henricks (guitar), Daniel Lawson (bass), Andrae Surgick (drums) and Tyrone Hartzog (keyboards/piano/organ), the combination of various instrumentation is done so well that each instrument can be heard individually and one sound doesn’t overpower another. The Chronicles build with balance; some tracks feature heavy vocals, while others will have a keyboard or brass-focused solo and it’s never “too much” of anything.
I find the Chronicles to be welcoming and fresh in their sounds, appealing to people who don’t listen to that much jazz music in general – they’ve got something for everyone. So don’t be afraid of the word jazz. It’s more than that. The Chronicles make me want to listen to more jazz-influenced music – or rather – their new album on repeat. For the rainy day we had today, if I wasn’t listening to their album all day, I’m pretty sure I’d be in some kind of a mood by now. It’s upbeat and full of charm, while also being beautifully composed and a bit spontaneous at the same time.
Do yourself a favor and check them out this Friday at the Bayou Cafe alongside Mr. Breakdown for their official CD release party. Doors are at 8pm. Pick up their new album while you’re at it and see for yourself if you can put it down.
KAB picks:“Triumph,” “Rain Drops,” and “Suburban Grind.”