Introduction to Zero to 60
Zero to 60 is Jae Sinnett’s 14th album as a leader. It marks his return to straight up jazz featured in the classic jazz quartet setting…tenor saxophone, acoustic piano, acoustic bass, and drums. It also showcases the growth of the composer with nine original compositions by Jae and one classic standard, Never Let Me Go. The musicians joining Jae for this session are saxophonist Ralph Bowen, bassist Terry Burrell and pianist Allen Farnham. All are tremendously respected by their contemporaries. They are the perfect complement to Jae’s swinging, musically soulful, rhythmically hip-shifting drumming.
The music on Zero to 60 presents each musician with unique harmonic, melodic and rhythmic challenges. What makes this music stand out though is that within this complexity, you can walk away remembering what you’ve heard. Melodies you can hum and remember. Then there is the swing beat. Wow! Zero to 60 swings as hard as any swinging jazz you’ve heard for more than 30 years! There is incredible passion in this music and it’s balanced with beautiful melodic continuity over advanced layers of harmonic and rhythmic textures. The music invites you in to join it – like a warm friend you enjoy spending time and getting to know.
“Being the jazz host and producer for 28 years of Sinnett in Session on NPR affiliate WHRV FM, I certainly hear my share of the music. One thing I miss much in the music is memorable melodic structures. I say this with a bit of weak humor….Perhaps Sherlock could crack the case of the mysterious missing hummable melody. My musical intentions were to write compositions that tell meaningful stories…stories that move forward with strong melodies and thought-provoking harmonic movement and rhythmic sophistication. These songs swing hard and are laced with a deep level of passion, soul and high-level musical virtuosity. It’s spiritual really. Ralph’s huge tone and impeccable intonation guide the melodic themes magnificently. Terry’s swing beat and superb time locked in perfectly with me. He’s the dream bass player for a drummer and for any music. Allen’s incredibly deep piano comping is in a league of its own. Wow! His harmonic knowledge is vast and adds the perfect accomplishment in addition to smartly contrasted soloing. These guys are the perfect match for this music.” – Jae Sinnett
Every song on Zero to 60 stands out. Not a weak link in the bunch. Each has its own compositional uniqueness. Something for every mood. Then there is the sonic quality of the recording. Masterfully engineered by Bob Dawson and mixed by the great Rob Ulsh. They’re two of the best in the business.
“These guys make me really appreciate digital recording. Personally I’m an analog guy but Bob and Rob bring it for real. It’s a pleasure working with them.” – Jae Sinnett
We invite you to sit back, kick off the shoes and enjoy a wonderfully produced musical journey. The music in its maturity celebrates Jae’s 60th birthday and his life’s musical experiences……hence the title. We sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this new CD as much as the musicians enjoyed making it. Thank you!!!
Featured Review – All About Jazz
By DAN BILAWSKY
Published: February 24, 2016
Jae Sinnett: Zero to 60
The title of this record is something of a double entendre, referencing both the arrival of a milestone birthday for drummer-composer Jae Sinnett and the specific decade that helped influence his outlook on music, art, and life in general. But don’t let that information fool you. This isn’t some nostalgia-filled date with flower power filigree. This is modern jazz that sells itself through the marriage of sophistication and accessibility. And while those two might seem like strange bedfellows, they shouldn’t. There’s no reason that music can’t be catchy and intricate at the same time, and this record successfully makes that argument.
Exhibit A in Sinnett’s case on the compatibility of the aforementioned qualities is the album opener – Double Dribble. It’s a tune that hurdles forward in three, halts and changes gears with layered entrances over a riff in seventeen, and shifts into streamlined 4/4 swing. All of that happens within the first minute of the pieces, and all of those different moving parts, along with a few other twists, come back at one time or another. So does all of that lend the music a dizzying quality and make it incomprehensible? Absolutely not. By the second listen the riffs are already permanently lodged in the mind. Every tune that follows, while not necessarily as metrically complex, walks that same line, adopting no-nonsense musical tactics while also proving to be completely approachable from the listener’s side of the fence. There’s Farm Hands, opening with a hypnotic two-against-three feel before shifting gears into swing; Hans Up! which artfully moves from a funk-laced groove to a Brazilian-influenced feel while referencing bassist Hans Glawischnig’s contributions in name; Bowen’s Arrow, an intense feature for saxophonist Ralph Bowen with precision hits and a metronome-bustling swing drive; and the title track, driven by Sinnett’s perky drumming and the chordal jabs of his longtime pianist, Allen Farnham.
Elsewhere on the album, Sinnett furthers and broadens the picture by looking back. Quail Creek, for example, takes a spiritual, Coltrane-influenced path, and the lone standard on the record – Never Let Me Go – plays to tradition with its straightforward approach and trading of solos. Sinnett manages to address jazz from numerous angles here, which should come as no surprise to anybody familiar with the man. With thirteen other albums to his credit over the past three decades, a quarter century of work as a jazz radio personality, a sterling reputation as an educator, and vast composition credits spanning genres and formats, Sinnett has practically done it all. He brings all of that experience to bear on this album, merging powerful thought and pleasing ideas with nary a problem.
Track Listing: Double Dribble; Farm Hands; Quail Creek; Hans Up!; Watch Your Step; Never Let Me Go; Bowen’s Arrow; Whispering Souls; Zero to 60; Omega
Personnel: Jae Sinnett: drums; Ralph Bowen: tenor saxophone; Allen Farnham: piano; Hans Glawischnig: bass
Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: J-Nett | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream
Reviews of Zero to 60
“Whilst the complexities of the music on Zero to 60 present each musician unique harmonic, melodic and rhythmic challenges, the simple fact is that the listener can walk away feeling totally satisfied, not only fully content with what has been heard, but humming a tune with glee. That’s the beauty of Sinnett’s writing. The compositions are clever in a jazz writing sense, but they’re just so tuneful, catchy even. Add to that the incomparable performances from each member of the quartet and what we have is an awesome album of straight-ahead jazz at its very best and most rewarding.
“Every track on Zero to 60 stands out, there are no weak links here. Passionate, driving grooves, inventive soloing and fiercely enigmatic performances make for a wonderfully dynamic album. The writing never resorts to cliché, the whole album being full of a spirit that sets it apart from the vast majority of recordings one might hear in this field of music; refreshingly authentic and oozing class.
“Zero to 60 is one fine album. As the band leader himself puts it; ‘Zero to 60 is filled with the emotional sensibilities that bring home the point of why you listen to the music in the first place. How it makes you feel.’ I couldn’t have put it better myself.” – Mike Gates, UK Vibe
“The title of this record is something of a double entendre, referencing both the arrival of a milestone birthday for drummer-composer Jae Sinnett and the specific decade that helped influence his outlook on music, art, and life in general. But don’t let that information fool you. This isn’t some nostalgia-filled date with flower power filigree. This is modern jazz that sells itself through the marriage of sophistication and accessibility. And while those two might seem like strange bedfellows, they shouldn’t. There’s no reason that music can’t be catchy and intricate at the same time, and this record successfully makes that argument.
“With thirteen other albums to his credit over the past three decades, a quarter century of work as a jazz radio personality, a sterling reputation as an educator, and vast composition credits spanning genres and formats, Sinnett has practically done it all. He brings all of that experience to bear on this album, merging powerful thought and pleasing ideas with nary a problem.” – Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
“American Classical Music, commonly referred to as Jazz, has produced a long history of extraordinary talent. Jae Sinnett is no exception and joins the elite corps of contributors to the only art form that developed in America along with American Indian Art. I was first introduced to Jae’s music via The Sinnett Hearings, which remains one of his most interesting presentations I have been privileged to listen to. His latest, Zero to 60, is full of thought provoking performances and the pulse is never forgotten…be it up tempo or the beautiful Omega closing the set. Excusez-moi for the beautiful use of mallets Jae!!! I am curious at this point as to whether Jae names the compositions or like myself, the compositions dictate to me what they want to be titled. Quail Creek causes one to be there and here is a composer that has been given a gift that makes one think on many levels. Music is supposed to do just that. This is what this wonderful art form is about. The artist, writer, performer or orchestrator…be it Ravel, Ellington, Strayhorn, Art Tatum…and in this case Jae Sinnett, are classic examples of stirring the emotions of laughter, tears, reflection and all the areas of this life we live…leaving you with an experience that remains!!! Carry on, Mr. Sinnett with your many gifts!!!” – Ahmad Jamal
“Drummer and composer Jae Sinnett’s new release Zero to 60 is a delight. Filled with gentle surprises and a wide variety of grooves, Jae’s selection of songs leads the listener on a rewarding journey, from the utterly modern and swinging Double Dribble to the poignant Quail Creek; through an unexpected medium-tempo Never Let Me Go. Leading a band made up of deep and potent sidemen, who are also revered musical leaders in their own right, Jae has captured the spirit of jazz music without ever resorting to cliché. His songs are concise and singable – a rare quality in a modern jazz composer. I am thankful for this thoroughly enjoyable and masterful CD, and look forward to much more of Jae Sinnett’s musical journey in the future!” – Saxophonist Joel Frahm
“The CD is exceptionally well played, with Allen Farnham (piano), Hans Glawischnig (bass) and Ralph Bowen (tenor saxophone) rounding out this fine quartet; and exceptionally well-recorded (the sound is just brilliantly recorded and engineered). Memorable melodies and a distinctly positive energy – I’m anxious to get this one on the air on my weekly jazz program!” – Dr. Brad Stone – Host – The Creative Source