Just as the title song of OPEN ROAD suggests, Robin Bessier prefers to stretch beyond the comforts of the known and fling herself into 'the mystery.' In this case, with all original material. A bold move in a field crowded with female jazz singers, but a natural progression from her 2013 debut album OTHER SIDE OF FOREVER, a mix of originals and standards that landed on the top 40 jazz (CMJ) charts the first week of its release and where it remained for several weeks, earning international airplay and critical acclaim.
The "Open Road" CD continues to glean accolades - and royalties!
Here's what one internet jazz radio station manager had to say:
Here is a very impressed and flabbergasted message from the Netherlands. My name is Martin and I’m music director and co-owner of an internet jazz-radiostation. Every week I’m listening to 2000 tracks of new released albums to find matches with our radio station. What you’ve done with “Open Road” makes me speechless. What a great album. Every detail, every individual performance of each instrument, the feeling when all comes together. Lots of compliments and congratulations for all of you working so hard on “Open Road” Thank you so much for coloring my (and the) world much more beautiful!!! Martin www.virginiamusic.eu
The title song Open Road was written at a time in Robin Bessier's life when the ground was shifting under her feet -‐-‐ when the divine discontent was in full force -‐-‐ and the words and music flowed out of the realization that she has never been satisfied with the status quo. Memories of many a road trip to her beloved Southwest were invoked as the muses presented the music. Jay Thomas' trumpet captures the essence of the song, moving from mournful, to yearning, to exhilaration.
Ride the Wind was initially composed by Bessier 20 years ago, but refused to be finished, despite several attempts over the years -‐-‐ until the day she went searching through old compositions trying to find just the right song to sing in a fundraising concert for Jim Jenkins (JJ), a dear friend who was in hospice. Magically, the song came together at last. The lyrics reflect the many conversations JJ and Robin had about the nature of life and death -‐-‐ and what it means to let go of one journey to embrace the next. On this version, each member of the band is on deck, with Jeff Busch's percussive virtuosity laying down a rhythmic foundation that complements the exuberance of the piano, guitar and sax solos.
Sambarron, George Radebaugh's tune, was the initial inspiration behind the OPEN ROAD album. Robin first heard it at a jazz jam, and immediately asked George if she could write lyrics to it, which he graciously agreed to. When she learned that the inspiration for the song was the great pianist and composer Kenny Barron, who had inspired Robin's tune Renewed, the project seemed to take on a life of its own. The lyrics to Sambarron are intended as a tribute to Kenny Barron's songwriting and playing that always elicits beautiful imagery.