Instagram Soundcloud Spotify

A Slow Dance With A City Circled In Lights: Jeremy Bass’s New York In Spring

Jeremy Bass
New York In Spring

Written by:

On his new album, New York In Spring, New York City slinks around Jeremy Bass’s classically trained guitar lines and those same guitar lines return the favor and slink right back.

There’s a lot of slinking going on around here and for good reason: Bass’s new album is a slow dance with a city circled in lights; a sensual tango with a season in full bloom.

The second half of a pair of twin albums devoted to the seasons themselves (Winter Bare preceded this one by two months), New York In Spring is Bass’s masterwork. The Musical Director of the New York-based OBIE Award-winning performing collective, The Secret City, Bass is one of the most intuitive and inventive guitar players around. Taking its inspiration from the classic Bossa Nova albums of the ’50s and ’60s, Bass’s new effort is a long and generous gaze down both the elegant streets of New York City and the bittersweet avenues of the past and trying to figure out what both of them mean.

But while T.S. Eliot found April cruel in its confusing mixture of “memory and desire,” Bass sees no such dilemma. In fact, the warming of the air corresponds with the warming of his spirit and as a result, the songs here are gentle mediations on the thawing of the land and the warming up of the heart.

And with both of those in play, who wouldn’t find solace in a new season?

Bass sure does, and because of this, New York In Spring is one of the most upfliting, graceful and charming albums in recent memory. An elegant confluence of Cole Porter and Sondre Lerche, Bass’s clever worldplay and musical finesse are wonderous things.  “Style” is a soulfully precise love letter to New York fashion and architectual igonograpy.  “Julia” is an aching ballad of true longing; “Work” is a trumpet-flecked beauty and “Firefly” is a dreamy shuffle that finds Bass marveling, “I don’t know where the stillness comes from.”

It all closes with the lilting title track, which nimbly takes a long walk through the 212, making stops in cafe’s and parks and while birds burst from trees overhead.

It’s a guided tour of the city as much as it is a guided tour of the heart.