Emerging Minneapolis bassist and composer Ted Olsen offers up his debut release, featuring his quartet and a number of special guests exploring and reveling in an idiosyncratic sonic landscape. Joyfire features ten tracks, all produced, arranged, and composed by Olsen. Using a wide breadth of modern jazz in uences, it focuses on melodic and harmonic inventions within the framework of spontaneous group interplay. The album begins with "Song for Tomorrow," featuring a warm introduction to Olsen's bass sound, which settles into a minor meditation based on Afro-Cuban rhythms. Next is "Blue Earth," a spirited romp through a shifting web of keys that remains rooted in the blues, with a dynamic drum solo by Miguel Hurtado. This is followed by the Brazilian inspired "Daybreak," where saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom utilizes his soaring soprano horn. Pianist Javier Santiago enjoys an extended solo, propelling the rhythm section to a fiery melodic recapitulation which is in turn eclipsed by the fever pitch of the drum solo codetta. "Petit Fleur" is a jazz waltz, followed by "Heart Open Sky," a groove-oriented modal tune with R&B influences. "Intermezzo (Aquarelles)" features Olsen playing piano while Hurtado improvises on the drums, and was then given an electronic treatment by producer Eric Mayson, who also has a brief vocal cameo. "Heart Open Sky (reprise)" features a reimagining of the previous version and a slew of guests from Olsen's time at the University of Northern Colorado. Trumpeter Jake Baldwin appears on the penultimate number, "Coalescence," which combines New Orleans second line and swing rhythms with a knotty and aggressive post-bop melody and builds to a raucous horn battle. "Forward" concludes the record-it is perhaps a rumination on the direction in which we ought to move-delivered by the dulcet and soulful tenor Cameron Kinghorn. It's a slow burning ballad, informed by both jazz and R&B, that reaches a terrific climax of excitement with Hedenstrom and Kinghorn dueling over the churning rhythm section before the bittersweet parting lyric is finally intoned rubato. At it's core, Joyfire is a celebration. The camaraderie of the musicians and their aesthetic con uence shape the album's unique sonic landscape into an exuberant and passionate offering. Ted Olsen is a bassist and composer from Minneapolis, MN. His groups have been featured at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, The Artists' Quarter, and Icehouse in the Twin Cities. He has per- formed at Nocturne Jazz Club in Denver, CO and Festival No Improvisado in Curitiba, Brazil. He won the 2012 Eric Stokes Song Contest held by the American Composers' Forum and in 2015 was a finalist in the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers' competition.