Jaden Carlson Band’s Polychromatic is uplifting (CD, review)

Jaden Carlson courtesy of Gratefulweb.com
Jaden Carlson courtesy of Gratefulweb.com

By Lisa Crandall

I’m not a professional writer. I just love great music.

POLYCHROMATIC-ITUNES-220x220I’ve always been a fan of Jaden Carlson. From the very first time I saw her perform. I think it was at a benefit up in Nederland, for an injured resident. Later, Jaden teamed up with Garrett Sayers on Bass and Scott Messersmith from The Motet on percussion, a Carlson group that played great shows. Now with her latest band, Jaden has released Polychromatic, the next in a already great series of CD’s.

It was exciting for me to hear the new lineup and songs.

On the first track, the first bars, indicate that this music has come from the study of a deep soul. The haunting sounds of the first track just shift your entire mind… and you’re ready to receive.

The new band members must be appreciated. I had the opportunity to see the Jaden Carlson Band perform up at Nedfest. They were awesome! I love the way Jaden seems to really flow with the band. Like they know when she wants to stretch-out and jam, they can read her signals on stage, and they seem genuinely joyful about being together and about the music itself. I love the fun faces Jaden and the keyboardist, Eric Luba, were exchanging. Will Trask is an exciting drummer whose complex and unpredictable rhythms keep you guessing.

Mud Flip is a very fun song. I got to see her band perform it live at Nedfest and it got the crowd dancing. Jaden’s toying melody and Will’s chasing rhythm with answers from Eric on organ just pulled everyone in and made our bodies move. It’s a great live song for dancing!

And the transition from Mud Flip into No Use Hanging Around is very smooth and enjoyable. That will definitely work live, too.

No Use has riffs that remind me of Joe Satriani or Carlos Santana. That is definitely an achievement for a young musician. Understanding the power of a repeated melody, but not overstating it, takes finesse and melodic comprehension. Jaden has these qualities. I especially enjoyed the addition of the fiddle at the prelude.

This is good solid song writing on the album. The songs are complete, thought-out, haunting and even surprising from the deep blues hue of some of the lyrics. Some lyrics so powerful they brought tears to my eyes. Especially the song Nothing Left. In it her lyrics speak of slugging through pain that comes from living more years than Jaden has even experienced yet…and so I can only wonder what the motivation for this song was.

The excellent song transitions are even more evidence that this was a well-honed, deeply thought-out Polychromatic from start to finish.

Jaden keeps amazing me with her music. And Jaden’s voice is maturing and improving, too. It’s interesting to get to listen to her evolving as a musician. And of course on her guitar, she is truly mastering the funky-groove element along with packing a punch in her blues playing. When you get to experience great music, it just lifts what you have out off your shoulders and helps you shake it loose. And that’s what this CD did for me. I truly enjoy it and recommend Polychromatic. Rock on, Jaden!

Enjoy this version of Born to Fly from the Jaden Carlson Band’s visit to the Second Story Garage Studio.


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