Sarah Jerrom’s critically acclaimed debut album, Illuminations, encompasses fresh original compositions, jazz-inspired arrangements of contemporary songs and traditional jazz standards. Described as “diverse and sophisticated” (Justin Litun, IAJE Canada Newsletter), “powerful, stirring and lush” (Peter Merrett, PBS 106-7FM, Melbourne) and “swingin’ stuff” (Colin Smith, CKLN 88.1FM, Toronto) amongst reviewers and critics, the self-produced recording has generated considerable attention for its originality and musicianship. Sarah arranged much of the material and also surrounded herself with a large ensemble of top-flight musicians, including Stu Harrison and Jamie Reynolds on piano, Harley Card on electric and acoustic guitar, Mark McIntyre on bass, David MacDougall on drums, Mike Murley on tenor saxophone, Alison Young on alto saxophone, Rebecca Hennessy on trumpet and fluegelhorn, and Joel Green on trombone. Illuminations also features a string quartet on Sarah’s arrangement of the Josefine Cronholm composition, “Wild Garden”. Illuminations continues to receive widespread media attention and radio airplay at local (CFRB, CIUT, CKLN), national (CBC), and international radio stations in the United Kingdom (BBC), the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Denmark, France and Argentina.
Highlights of Illuminations include a contemporary, lilting and slightly mysterious version of the Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer classic “Skylark”, replete with masterful and harmonically complex solos by Mike Murley and Jamie Reynolds; a funky take on Brad Mehldau’s “Dusty Nugget”; Sarah’s contemporary original title track, “Illumination”; Strayhorn’s immortal “Lush Life”, done here as an evocative and moving piano/voice duo featuring Stu Harrison; a snappy and swinging take on Rodgers & Hart’s “Do It the Hard Way”; a pristine, classic and uncluttered version of Benny Goodman’s “Stompin’ at the Savoy”, featuring synchronistic rhythm section solos; the modern and haunting “Wild Garden” (Josefine Cronholm) with a lush, contrapuntal string arrangement by Sarah; a Neil Young-inspired perspective on Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me”, and the final track on the CD, the radiant Lerner & Loewe classic “Heather on the Hill”.