Cucumber is the debut EP of Jazz musician and trumpet player Sammy Haig. The album comprises six songs, which collectively feature over seventy virtual collaborators!
Sammy Haig is a producer and songwriter based out of the Midwest USA. Being a player himself, his love of trumpets stands bold in this jazz album. At the same time, there are so many rich sounds and experiences in the album. Each song is like a season, it pervades your senses, and offers something uniquely different from the last one.
Describing the sonic structure or instrument arrangement is not all that there is to Jazz. Hence, I will describe this album in a somewhat vague, but quite accurate way of how it fell unto me.
The first song is Dreaming Of, featuring vocals from singer Jared Griffin. What stands out to me is the smart use of a rap-like lyrical delivery in the song which plays magically with the various sounds that are stitched together to make this track. The second track on the EP is Will I See You Tomorrow featuring vocals from Sarah Katherine Lawless. This one feels like a slow, sexy, retro love ballad. It is hopeful, offers an urgency, yet it is calm as a cool ocean breeze.
Up next is the title track itself, and it ends the vocal collaboration to give way to the jazz production that is the highlight of this project. It is very energetic and hopeful from the start, and the trumpet kicks it into gear. Repeated chord arrangements give it a light trip, the trumpet keeps extending its life, and the electric guitar builds and builds upon it.
Then comes Doesn’t Feel like Summer. And my instinct is to acknowledge the summers we have lost to these two years of lockdown. The song is very playful, with slightly incoherent, electronic vocals which I’m inclined to believe are Sammy’s. He says, every day feels the same, and I know he isn’t alone. This one is a bit more laid back, and gives me a calm Bill Wurtz vibe. Until it builds up in the bridge into a bold symphony, of course!
Dasher II is the penultimate song on Cucumber. It is disco, vibrant, and slightly psychedelic feeling. It is a dancey kind of song, all instrumental once again. And the album ends with its longest song by far, Basement Famous. I guess Sammy felt that way at the end of this album, but with music like this, he is going to be famous outside of the basement too!
Cucumber was Sammy Haig’s response to the pandemic changing all of our lives. The artist is a graduate of IU Jacobs School of Music, but his much-awaited senior-year recital was put on hold indefinitely due to the lockdown conditions. Hence, he created his first-ever album, and now Cucumber stands strong as a collection of bright, uplifting jazz compositions that will get you enjoying an exhaustingly busy day or just a lazy afternoon.