Larry McClellan’s CD debut is main stream jazz at it’s best. Larry is a 20 year plus veteran of the jazz scene who has performed with the "who’s who" of the jazz world, and now it’s his turn to take the limelight. To quote David Baker: "Movin’ Up" will go a long way toward establishing Larry McClellan as a major figure in the world of jazz performance.
Larry leads a stellar cast of characters with inventive arrangements that are well rehearsed and the recording is impeccable. The solos are top notch, which is to expected with players of this caliber, but the surprise of this project is the extraordinary ensemble performance this group exhibited. Everyone was definitely on the same wave length with a groove, balance and blend as good as anything I’ve ever heard.
The CD opens with the original by Larry, "Movin’ Up" which is a burin’ swing eye opener. The next tune is another McClellan original "Blue Reggae" showing a great reggae groove with the improvisations blending beautifully with that great foot taping, head noddin’ raggae groove. The album consists of six originals, five by Larry and one by Donald Brown, two jazz standards and a tune by Wayne Shorter. My favorite was "Flamingo" with Larry performing on the rarely heard bass trumpet. Larry plays with a depth of feeling and creativity that is just extraordinary. Even though Larry’s trombone performance is superb I would have liked to have heard at least one more tune on the beautiful haunting instrument.
This project is total enjoyment for the jazz aficionado as well as anyone who just likes good music. A definite must hear for my 2002 listening list.
Personnel: Larry McCllellan (trombone and bass trumpet), Donald Brown (piano), Ron Blake (sax), Reuben Rogers (bass),Adonis Rose (drums) Pernell Saturnino (percussion).