Christian Pincock: Plentiful Excitement
Recorded in Albuquerque while Pincock held a teaching position in the music department at the University of New Mexico, Plentiful Excitement features a capable and seasoned local band, including pianist Robert Muller, drummer Richard Compton, and tuba- player Mark Weaver. They do more than just negotiate Pincock's tricky compositions; their relaxed and assured vibe really brings Pincock's pieces to life, and both Weaver and Muller solo with gusto and verve throughout. Pincock's approach on the valve trombone is very nimble and trumpet- like. His solo on "Entertaining Company" is a case in point. Backed by sparse drums and chugging tuba, Pincock uses long tones to set the scene, breaking these up into shorter, more convoluted phrases as his solo progresses. Despite its cheery title, "Lily Bakes a Pie" has a stately, mournful quality that's a bit reminiscent of Myra Melford's early work, for example Even The Sounds Shine (Hatology, 1995). Here, Muller's exultant piano solo has a darting unpredictability, eventually building to orchestral proportions. A student of the great Andrew Hill, Muller is a spirited, profoundly rhythmic improvisor who demonstrates a firm grasp on the demands of Pincock's compositions.
Pincock's choice of tuba, rather than string bass, to supply the bottom end works really well. Though Weaver functions primarily as a bassist, he occasionally joins Pincock in the foreground as Muller seamlessly shifts into the bass-player role. This is most evident on the somber "Virtual Religion," a piece which seems to take off on certain elements introduced in "Lily Bakes a Pie." Weaver's out in front on the theme, adding high-register squeaks and squiggles, and gets a lovely solo in before Pincock takes over with what may be his finest solo of the session. Most of this album, however, is upbeat and rhythmically active. Compton handles the odd time signatures and metric modulations throughout these pieces with ease. His playing, while splashy and appropriately busy, never gets in the way.
After recording Plentiful Excitement Pincock departed New Mexico for the arguably greener pastures of Seattle, where he's quickly become an important figure in that city's ever- burgeoning modern jazz scene. Hopefully, this move will translate into a busier recording schedule for this excellent young trombonist and composer.
Track Listing: Plentiful Excitement; Entertaining Company; Song for Deian; Lily Bakes a Pie; Virtual Religion; Sole Representative.
Personnel: Christian Pincock: valve trombone; Mark Weaver: tuba; Robert Muller: piano; Richard Compton: drums.
Record Label: Christian Pincock
Style: Modern Jazz