In the music of drummer/composer Jared Schonig there is a life-force, a vibrant affirmation that there are numerous great reasons to get out of bed in the morning – despite lockdowns and epidemic hangovers – and embrace it all.
His music percolates with sincere optimism for the future, enthusiasm for the present and reverence and erudition of the past. The music on Schonig’s intrepid debut recording as a leader, Two Takes Vol. 1: Quintet & Vol. 2: Big Band is meticulously-crafted and played with the freedom, abandon, joy and excellence that only the truly gifted seem to truly capture simultaneously.
Here we have a musician who dreams big, makes those dreams come true, and thrives as a percussive force in many dimensions: primal and raw, shimmering and playful, pounding and exhilarating, tumultuous and brutal, complex, unpredictable and exhilarating.
And, with these recordings, Schonig now joins the growing fellowship of drummers fronting their own bands, from Brian Blade to Johnathan Blake to Tyshawn Sorey, and many, many more. The spirit of Max Roach lives on.