Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard (Verve)

Jon Batiste

Released November 1, 2019

Grammy Nominee for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album 2021

AllMusic Favorite Jazz Albums 2019




The inimitable musician and bandleader, Jon Batiste, releases Chronology Of A Dream: Live At The Village Vanguard on November 1. Recorded during his six-night residency in the fall of 2018, the live album is a follow up to his recent critically acclaimed release, Anatomy of Angels: Live at the Village Vanguard, and is part two of the two-part series. You can listen to the first single “HIGHER” and pre-order the album here.
Anatomy of Angels and Chronology of a Dream are two sides of the same coin. Batiste explains, “My compositions on Chronology focus on thematic development within short form structures with memorable melodic themes, while Angels focuses on thematic development within longer form structures that are built for deconstruction, never to be played the same way twice.”
Writer David Fricke says in the liner notes, “Dream glows and shakes with its own contagious retrospect, still facing forward: the pianist summoning the Great Spirits of mid-Sixties soul-jazz—Les McCann, Bobby Timmons, Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderley—to a party that starts in high gear and keeps jumping to joy.”
On the collection Batiste says “Just as Duke Ellington composed music for his specific band members, my compositions here are tailored to how the band members and I play together.” Listen to cuts like “PRINCE,” or “BLACCK,” and you will hear this bands unique brand of interplay.
Batiste’s band includes some of the most exceptional young instrumentalists currently at work on the scene today. In varying combinations, they include trumpeter Giveton Gelin, alto saxophonist Patrick Bartley Jr, tenor saxophonist Patrick Bartley Jr, percussionist Negah Santos, guitarist Louis Cato and tuba/trumpet player Jon Lampley, anchored by Batiste’s long-time trio of bassist Phil Kuehn, and drummer Joey Saylor.
At the heart of Chronology of a Dream is the tragic passing of jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who died suddenly on the opening night of the residency on November 2. Hargrove was a friend and mentor of Batiste’s and the night of his passing they paid tribute with a performance of a little-known composition of Hargrove’s “SOULFUL.” The composition finally gets its official release here, with trumpet duties deftly handled by Giveton Gelin, a Hargrove mentee. What’s more, the spirited performance is book-ended by two special pieces of spoken-word: a track called “STORY,” and then, to close the next cut, “ORDR.”
The recording showcases his eminence as a composer, bandleader, and pianist, while also giving the listener an invitation to Batiste’s concept of “celestial jazz.” Giving us a window into the future of where the music is going, and more importantly, where it could go.
“I’m honored to record some of my latest compositions with a band of young lions and play our hearts out in one of the world’s most legendary venues.” Says Batiste of the overall project. “This album, serving as part two of Anatomy Of Angels, is rooted in the sounds of black American music and classic jazz. May the circle be unbroken.”

Track Listing:

1. Blacck (Jon Batiste) 04:06

2. Prince (Jon Batiste) 03:49

3. Higher (Jon Batiste) 04:03

4. Pwwr (Jon Batiste) 03:21

5. Birthe (Jon Batiste) 03:33

6. Kenner (Jon Batiste) 03:59

7. Story (Jon Batiste / Roy Hargrove) 00:55

8. Soulful (Roy Hargrove) 04:23

9. Ordr (Jon Batiste) 03:17


Jon Batiste: piano, vocals

Patrick Bartley: alto saxophone

Giveton Gelin: trumpet

Philip Kuehn: bass

Jon Lampley: trumpet, tuba

Tivon Pennicott: tenor saxophone

Negah Santos: percussion

Joe Saylor: drums

Louis Cato: guitar (1)

Roy Hargrove: vocals (9)

Recorded live November 2 – 4, 2018, at The Village Vanguard, by Steve Remote

Produced by Jon Batiste

Mixed by Russell Elevado

Mastered by Alex DeTurk

Photography: Josh Cheuse


Thirty-three-year-old keyboardist and Louisiana native Jon Batiste has rocketed into public consciousness over the past decade. With a musical education fueled by New Orleans and the Juilliard School, he went from stages and studios to television via the Big Easy-centered HBO series Treme. Since 2015, he’s been musical director for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. And his latest recording, Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard, is the counterpart to his summer release Anatomy of Angels: Live at the Village Vanguard.

Both albums were recorded at the New York venue in the fall of 2018, with Anatomy being as exploratory as Chronology is concise. On the latter’s strutting opening track, “Blacck,” Batiste’s infectious piano and scat singing, the rhythmic lock of bassist Phil Kuehn and drummer Joe Saylor, and the frenetic-to-melodic horns of saxophonists Tivon Pennicott and Patrick Bartley and trumpeter Giveton Gelin create a Crescent City party atmosphere. “Prince” features a second-line rhythmic cadence, accentuated by percussionist Louis Cato’s tambourine and the surging horn section, complete with a stirring Bartley alto solo.

“Kenner,” named for Batiste’s suburban home town, is his solo tour de force. As the audience claps in unison, the pianist showcases incredible two-handed dexterity in a barrel-house performance featuring influences from Professor Longhair to Fats Domino. Another inspiration was trumpeter and former employer Roy Hargrove, whose premature death at age 49 coincided with the first day of this live recording. On Batiste’s “Soulful,” Gelin’s trumpet pays homage in celebratory New Orleans style. Batiste’s late mentor is even quoted in the closing Latin-tinged ode “Ordr.” Amid the leader’s piano and melodica lines, Kuehn’s dancing bass, and Cato’s array of hand drums, Hargrove punctuates his spoken-word remembrance of Batiste by saying, “Every time he took a solo, the whole house would erupt.”

Bill Meredith (JazzTimes)