"Pietro The Gouty," the first track of this unique CD, gives some indication of the mercurial, multi-faceted nature of trumpeter/composer/arranger Justin Mullens' music. It opens with a crisp, up-tempo introduction, then settles into a medium swing groove, fed by the bracing sound of a rhythm guitar. A knotty, unconventional theme is introduced, and trombonist Paul Olenick takes a fine solo over what sounds like the changes of Mean To Me." Mullens' trumpet solo abandons the changes, growing increasingly abstract, while the swing rhythm dissolves, and the rhythm section reasserts itself with an explosive funk beat. Finally, the band tears into ...read more
When most people think of jazz big bands, the swinging sounds of large ensembles may come to mind, but of late there has been an emergence of jazz orchestras that perform a broader scope of different jazz styles with an emphasis on complex composition as well has larger than life music. New York composer/trumpeter Justin Mullens brings his own ideas to the field with his Delphian Jazz Orchestra, featuring a sixteen piece ensemble and resulting in some challenging and edgy pieces that are clearly geared for attentive and discriminating listeners.
Notwithstanding the elements of a large jazz ensemble, this is ...read more