Rachel Z Declares that Jazz is Not Dead
Rachel charts new territory for herself as the leader of the full-fledged ensemble (known collectively as the Dept of Good And Evil), creating powerful jazzy mood swings on the piano over a shifting array of grooves driven by Rae (who also arranged and produced the project), 22 year old female bassist Maeve Royce (making her recording debut here) and the legendary Tony Levin (a longtime Z collaborator who plays electric bass and Chapman Stick guitar parts). Dept of Good And Evil also includes the emotionally resonant trumpet magic of Erik Naslund. Rachel discovered the talented, highly adaptable Royce, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, as a student in a theory and performance class the pianist teaches at New School University in New York. "She immediately reminded me of Bill Evan's great bassist Scott LaFaro and I love the way she can groove heavily the way Jimmy Garrison did with Coltrane," Rachel says. "She also has an Irish Gaelic influence which makes her bowing more emotional." The CD will be released by Savoy Jazz on March 13th.