Angels Play The Harp, Printup Plays The Trumpet Marcus Printup isn't the first trumpeter to combine the trumpet and the harp. It's long been an instrument where jazz women could make their mark. A Time for Love is a quiet and cozy album with Printup's wife, harpist Riza Hequibal, but it's never dull.
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Angels Play The Harp, Printup Plays The Trumpet

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Angels Play The Harp, Printup Plays The Trumpet

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Angels Play The Harp, Printup Plays The Trumpet

Angels Play The Harp, Printup Plays The Trumpet

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Marcus Printup. Clay Patrick McBride/Courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

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Clay Patrick McBride/Courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Marcus Printup.

Clay Patrick McBride/Courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Angels play the harp — except Gabriel, who blew trumpet. Marcus Printup isn't the first trumpeter to combine the trumpet and the harp: Harpist Betty Glamann played on half of Kenny Dorham's Jazz Contrasts in 1957. Printup tips his hat by opening his album with Dorham's most famous tune, "Blue Bossa."

Some folks say the harp is ill-suited to jazz, but its deep bass, ringing long notes and spiky percussive attack aren't exactly liabilities. Jazz harpists have never been common, but there have been some very good ones: Caspar Reardon and Adele Girard played swing harp in the 1930s, followed by Ruth Berman in the '40s and queen of the harp Dorothy Ashby in the '50s; it was an instrument where jazz women could make their mark. A few modern harpists have recorded good jazz, including Deborah Henson-Conant and Park Stickney. Riza Hequibal sounds like she's still growing into jazz: She's not the heaviest swinger, but bassist Kengo Nakamura is on hand to buttress the rhythm. And harp and bass effectively frame Marcus Printup's lovely trumpet, the tone of which is as juicy as a bowl of cherries. The program is all ballads, which keeps his formidable technique in check and lets him revel in nice melodies.

Printup's A Time for Love is casual almost to a fault; except for the Filipino favorite, "Dahil Sa'yo," the tunes are all jazz standbys, unencumbered by fancy arrangements and taken at an easy clip. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Jazz is often informal, and fans cherish recordings made on the fly in hotel rooms and noisy bars. Since the trumpeter and harpist married not long after the recording — she now goes by Riza Printup — you could look at this as a kind of domestic music: quiet and cozy, but never dull. It's their little slice of heaven.

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