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The formation of the American/Canadian sextet Tunnel Six wasn't planned. The six musicians met up at the 2009 International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, and discovered rare group chemistry after having played together there. Since then the group has performed across Canada and the U.S., and cut two CDs, Lake Superior (OA2 Records, 2010) and now Alive, recorded at their live shows in Vancouver, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle.
The line-upsax and trumpet, guitar and piano, bass and drumsis a chamber-like collective with more energy than groups that are usually tagged that way. An equilibrium of input, both in tune-smithing and playing is the mode of operation; but it's tempting to call trumpeter Chad McCullough a leader of sorts. He penned three of the nine tunes, and dishes up some fine solo spots; and he did the cover photo and layout too.
Saxophonist Brad Dietschi does a tight, sizzling solo on his "Tides of Certainty," in front of some sharp metallic comping by guitarist Brian Seligman. McCullough's "Pinwheel" features some lyrical horn work, fine and intricate interplay between the guitar and Andrew Oliver's piano, and includes a hypnotic interlude where Oliver lays down a steady groove for bassist Ron J. Hynes and drummer Tyson Stubelek to churn and rumble over.
Alive is a cohesive statement, from start to finish, full of expansive, slightly blurredfrom the melding of guitar and pianosoundscapes, hot horns and seamless instrumental interaction.
Track Listing: The Wagon & the Gun; Columbia; Heavy Weight; Tides of Certainty; Pinwheel; No Mongoose; Up Hill; Cowboy; The Admiral's Lament.
Personnel: Ben Dietschi: saxophones; Chad McCullough: trumpet; Andrew Oliver: piano; Brian Seligman: guitar; Ron J. Hynes: bass; Tyson Stubelek: drums.
Year Released: 2013
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Modern Jazz
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.