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Stuart Kremsky
IAJRC Journal, April 2002

"Sarah Jane Cion's piano playing on her new Naxos Jazz album 'Summer Night,' is a winning combination of strength and sensitivity...The quartet tunes give us another side of Cion's playing, as she feeds and responds to the sudden invasion of a saxophone. A dynamic and enjoyable date, easy to check out at Naxos' low suggested retail prices."

O’s Place Jazz Magazine, March 2002

"Sarah is one of the brightest young pianists on the scene today. Her playing is well-articulated and precise. She's playing her own music supported nicely by Billy Hart (d) and Phil Palombi (b). The mood is as fresh as a cool Summer Night, pleasant modern jazz. Michael Brecker makes notable guest appearances on two cuts, one an upbeat neo-bop track, the other a subtle mid-tempo ballad. Nice range, great feel!"

Rapport, February 2002

"Summer Night isn't a CD for the car stereo, nor is it to be played for the gang at the dinner party. No, this is the music for quiet times and romantic evenings; heartfelt embraces and hermetic introspect. It is, music from and for the heart."

John Henry
Audiophile Audition, November 2001

"Sarah Jane Cion's second CD for Naxos Jazz is another winner."

Peter Hum
Ottawa Citizen, September 2001

"Since she won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition two years ago, Sarah Jane Cion's art has kept on blossoming. Her first disc was a promising debut, featuring lyrical compositions and sophisticated melodic sense. The music, however, seemed a bit fleeting, less rooted than it could have been. With her second CD on Naxos, Cion makes new strides. There's more force and substance here. Cion, a classical player before jazz took hold, makes much of a strong left hand that rejoices in counterpoint. She keeps strong company on Summer Night, with Michael Brecker's tenor saxophone on two tracks and Billy Hart in the drummer's chair. Hart, a dynamo when he played this summer at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, reins himself in somewhat, keeping with the delicacy that Cion sometimes affects in her playing. Strongest as a ballad player, Cion is nonetheless thoughtful and poised throughout."

Independent Culture Jazziz, July 2001

"A blithe spirit animates her lines from within: her harmonies sparkle, her compositions smile, and in her hands even sobersided tempos have a barely hidden bounce on Sarah Jane Cion's new Naxos Jazz release Summer Night. Johnny Mandel describes Sara Jane's playing as agile, poetic, and graceful. A wonderful surprise for an listener."


Winner of 19th Annual Critics Picks of JAZZIZ Magazine!

C. Michael Bailey
All About Jazz

"Ms. Cion's follow up to Moon Song will not disappoint; she is a major dynamo in a quiet and lyrical sort of way.

Sarah Jane Cion, the jazz pianist-composer, has a beautiful consistency about her. For her follow up to last year's well-received Moon Song, she has chosen another nocturnal title, Summer Night. Her compositions on both recordings allude to nature in all its manifestations. "The Pond Beneath the Moon," "Moon Song," and "Suncycle" from Moon Song parallel well with "Walking On the Moon, "Summer Night," and "The Safflower" on the new release. Ms. Cion has also (wisely) retained her rhythm section of Phil Palombi and Billy Hart from Moon Song. She has also developed a trend in having guest saxophonists sit in on her recordings. Moon Song sported the talents of the ever present Chris Potter on two tracks. On Summer Night Michael Brecker contributes to the same number of tracks. On both discs, Ms. Cion closes with a reflective solo piano medley of three carefully chosen standards. Consistency indeed.

Something else that is consistent about Sarah Jane Cion is the tremendously high level of her playing and composing. She is a pianist very much in the tradition of Bill Evans, Alan Broadbent, and Fred Hersch, with a bit of Erroll Garner and Kenny Barron thrown in. Having said that, she really sounds like no one other than herself. Her music is very much "pretty" jazz. It is sumptuously melodic, cleverly harmonic, and intelligently lyrical. But don't let her fool you. As soon as you think Ms. Cion is all ballads, as she does with the disc's opening medley of "Never Never Land" and "Pure Imagination" followed by her wistful "Walking on the Moon" she and Michael Brecker mow you down with the machinegun fire of the title piece. Brecker returns for the lengthy original ballad "Prisoner of War" complete with a marching Billy Hart drumbeat and descending bass figures solo. This is music of the highest caliber.

To slay a perfectly good metaphor,Summer Night is fresh and cool like a bright Chardonnay. It has a deeply complex and content character that looms powerfully beneath a bouquet of citrus and summer flowers. Drink deep."

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