Peter Furlan: Spy Glass Hill (2001)
Featuring Eddie Palmieri’s jazz octet trumpeter Brian Lynch as well as Andrew Beals on alto sax, Peter Furlan’s New York love affair with the Caribbean is evident in the ambitious mambo big band arrangement for the 14-member brass and reed section of “Sleep Talking.” The performance effectively renders the arrangements’ suggestive jazz and Hispanic mores with groove, swing and plenty of feeling. His intimate pursuit of heated musical passions ensues in “Echoes of Rachelle.” Its melodic, flute-tinged, bongo-influenced, big band piano-seduced romance –featuring guitar and tenor sax solos– is extremely well written. In this tune, Furlan’s tenor sax renditions, dedicated to his wife, are impeccable in any regard.
An islander Brazilian-like feel is still present in the recording’s title cut, which closes the initial third of the production. However, this feel is more of an integral suggestion than an obvious statement, as seen in the previous compositions. Both soloists, as well as bassist Martin Wind, remind us how much can be done and said –without meandering about facile melodic prettiness– using a seemingly relaxed musical background for supporting a jazz arrangement of this sort.
Furlan will continue featuring his endemic Latin talents in a highly favorable light with a smaller big- sounding ensemble on “Club Peru Too!”, as well as in the big band conga-supported straight-ahead swing of “In the Oven,” with plenty of soloing packed for extended pleasure.
“The Crawl” is one of three pieces influenced by a quintet format –as “Spy Glass Hill” has such a section too– fronted by trumpet and tenor sax and also including synthesizer. It marks a transition in the listening experience as one journeys into mainstream jazz geography. The youthful vigor and maturity of these players is clearly evident in this rather interesting arrangement and performance nonetheless. Spy Glass Hill, in case it still remains unnoticed, is very well arranged by Furlan, who surrounds himself with eager, energetic, intelligent and disciplined players based in or around New York.
"Fallen Memories" offers an extended opportunity for Furlan and his quartet to stretch out semantically and emotionally. The remaining three tunes feature different ensemble conduits –albeit always sonically friendly towards a big-sounding aesthetic– with high-level performance on more straight-ahead material.
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Track Listing: 1. Sleep Talking-solos: Brian Lynch & Andrew Beals 2. Echoes of Rachelle-solos: Saul Rubin & Peter Furlan 3. Spy Glass Hill-solos: Peter Furlan, Vinnie Cutro & Mitch Schecter 4. The Crawl-solos: Vinnie Cutro, Mitch Schecter & Dave Meade 5. Fallen Memories-solos: Peter Furlan, Mitch Schecter & Martin Wind 6. In The Oven-solos: Rick Davies, Peter Furlan, Sundar Viswanathan & Vinnie Cutro 7. Club Peru Too!-solos: Matt Hilgenberg, Mitch Schecter, Peter Furlan & Saul Rubin 8. Einstein
Personnel: Tracks 1, 2, 3 & 6: Peter Furlan-tenor & soprano sax. Sundar Viswanathan-alto, soprano sax & flute. Andrew Beals-alto sax & flute. Mike Migliore-tenor sax & clarinet. Jarad Hunter-tenor sax. Vin Veloso-baritone sax & bass clarinet. Trumpets: Vinnie Cutro, Brian Lynch, Matt Hilgenberg, and Jesse Neuman. Trombones: Rick Davies, Ray Fitzgerald Rodney Lancaster, Conrad Zulauf. Dave Meade-drums. Mitch Schecter-piano & synthesizer. Martin Wind-bass. Saul Rubin-guitar. Frank Vald
Record Label: Twinz Records