Artist: Roger Lin
Album: Whisper Of The Isolated Ones
Reviewed by Scott Yanow
Roger Lin is a talented young guitarist and composer originally from Taiwan. After performing in jazz clubs with local artists, in 2016 he moved to the U.S. to study at the Berklee College of Music. He returned to Taiwan for tours and graduated from Berklee in 2019. Mr. Lin gained experience working with the Marcelo Maccagnan Trio in Brooklyn and, right before the global COVID-19 pandemic, he recorded Whisper Of The Isolated Ones, his recording debut.
Mr. Lin contributed all six compositions to this set. He plays three songs with a quintet also featuring trumpeter Phil Grenadier, pianist Ryosuke Tsutsui, bassist Soso Gelovani, and drummer Nick Groat while the other three numbers are played by his trio with Gelovani and Groat.
The music is modern mainstream jazz that is generally thoughtful and relaxed although sometimes filled with inner heat. Mr. Lin’s songs utilize original chord changes and are not derivative of earlier standards, challenging the musicians while being accessible to listeners.
The opener, “Drawings, Pills, Chocolate,” is straight ahead and medium-tempo, yielding excellent trumpet, guitar, and piano solos. “Whisper Of The Isolated Ones” has a long and atmospheric melody statement preceding the bass, trumpet, and guitar solos.
The first of the trio pieces, “Mr. Ross Says OK,” features a playful melody and is played at a cooking tempo with Lin mostly at the forefront. On “Royed Mood,” Tsutsui’s opening pattern on the piano is echoed throughout the piece (sometimes more felt than heard), giving the soloists a constant to improvise over. The most cooking performance is by the trio on “Shadowed Corner” while the closer, “No. 2,” has the feel of a medium-tempo ballad throughout and is a particularly rewarding melodic piece.
“Whisper Of The Isolated Ones is a strong start in the career of Roger Lin, a guitarist and composer who has great potential for the future.”— Jazz Artistry Now
1. Drawings, Pills, Chocolate – 10:11
2. Whisper Of The Isolated Ones – 8:07
3. Mr. Ross Says OK – 5:29
4. Royed Mood – 9:28
5. Shadowed Corner – 5:29
6. No. 2 – 7:03
Roger Lin, guitar 林煒翔
Phil Grenadier, trumpet, flugelhorn
Ryosuke Tsutsui, piano 筒井良佑
Soso Gelovani, bass
Nick Groat, drums
Recording & Mixing Engineer: Peter Kontrimas
Mastering Engineer: Michael Perez-Cisneros
Listen and purchase a copy online.
The Jazz Artistry Now review of Whisper Of The Isolated Ones was written by Scott Yanow. Mr. Yanow has written 11 books on jazz, over 800 liner notes, and more than 20,000 recording reviews through the years. His writing has graced virtually all of the top jazz magazines and he is happy to be a featured contributor to Jazz Artistry Now.