Blue Cranes to release third album, Observatories, in September

Portland, Oregon’s Blue Cranes is set to release its third album of horn-driven, instrumental jazz on September 14, 2010. After previously performing and recording as a quartet, the group added another tenor saxophone to the mix before its last album.

Now the quintet seems to be finding its stride. “With more time under our belts, I think our compositions more fully incorporate all five of us,” says Reed Wallsmith, the group’s leader and composer. “For Observatories, we wrote more contrapuntal lines, not just melodies and support riffs. I hope that the entire group unity comes through. It feels great to hear it happen.”

While strong rhythms and melodies drive the album, eclectic flourishes such as toy pianos and babies’ voices are scattered throughout, giving Observatories a great balance between old-fashioned, foot-stomping anthems and progressive, jazz-tinged explorations.

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