Fearless and Kind is the second album by collective roots-jazz quartet Way North. There’s a joy in this music that comes from having recorded on the heels of a tour. The band is tight and loose, freely improvising and having fun, while fully in control of the music they are playing. That they love playing together is obvious, and this feeling is contagious, drawing listeners into their love of roots musics mixed with improvising and jazz. This is a community minded band, and they are looking to uplift people with this music. This is jazz you can dance to!
If you know their critically acclaimed first album “Kings County”, you will find the band serving up a similar roots stew, but maybe even more heavily weighted toward street-beats and dancing good times. The collective horn improvising and conversational rhythm section approach comes from modern jazz and roots music at the same time. This gives Way North their unique sound, which is equally at home in a folk house concert as it is on a Jazz Festival stage.
There is music from all four band members here, but it would be hard to tell, as the songs go seamlessly together. Cancura’s Mississippi-Beat “Boll Weevil” opens the album and announces the good times that are ahead. You can also hear his tender waltz “Ready or Not” and “The River’s Flow”. Hennessy’s “Lagoon” is next, and the rhythm section generates a lazy-cowboy lope which the horns ride on top of with the quirky harmonies. She also contributes the Ornette Coleman inspired calypso “Birds for Free” and the ballad “Inchworms”. Barshay’s “Airport to Knowhere” cooks with a Balkan-jazz groove, and he brought the Jelly Rolly Morton medley to the band, which fittingly connects the band’s modern sound with the early New Orleans roots of jazz. Herring’s title track “Fearless and Kind” is a bluesy waltz, and he also wrote the street-beat meets Jazz Messengers “You Know A Song”.
released November 2, 2018
Way North is:
Rebecca Hennessy - Trumpet
Petr Cancura - Tenor Saxophone
Michael Herring - Bass
Richie Barshay - Drums
Fearless and Kind
Produced by Way North
Recorded at Canterbury Studios by Jeremy Darby
Mixed & Mastered by Reuben Ghose
Art & Design by Howie Shia & Leo Shia
Tracks 1, 8, 11 by Petr Cancura (SOCAN)
Tracks 2, 6, 9 by Rebecca Hennessy (SOCAN)
Track 3 by Richie Barshay (BMI)
Tracks 7, 10 by Michael Herring (SOCAN)
Tracks 4, 5 by Jelly Roll Morton