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Paul Tynan & Aaron Lington: Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Six

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Paul Tynan & Aaron Lington: Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Six
In jazz terms, trumpeter Paul Tynan and baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington's Bicoastal Collective is a long-running series, as this marks the sixth recording produced during their sixteen-year partnership. As Chapters One to Five were splendid, it might have been advisable to close the book there. However, Tynan and Lington have chosen to forge ahead, and so Chapter Six must be appraised on its own merits.

Before weighing the music, it should be noted that Tynan and Lington are excellent musicians, as are their bandmates, bassist Trifon Dimitrov and drummer Joe Abba. While the format of their piano-less quartet mirrors that of celebrated groups led by Gerry Mulligan and Art Farmer among others, the choice was to shun imitation and instead produce a vibe closer to Miles Davis' innovative, rock-influenced Bitches Brew.

Tynan, who wrote the first three of the album's half-dozen numbers, cleaves more snugly to the plan, whereas Lington's trio of themes, which follow, embody a more mainstream temper wherein improvisation assumes more prominence. Indeed, there are no ad libs to speak of on the shambling, special effects-laden opener, "By Iron and Fire"—which no doubt would have earned Miles' approval—and none to applaud on the chorale-like "Traveler from an Antique Land" or the funky "Arbitrary Rules."

Lington's "Angles" offers more of the same, rhythmically, but with more open space for engaging solos by the leaders and a hint of the smooth counterpoint that was a hallmark of the Mulligan quartet in the early '50s. The minor-key "Dark Halo" is even more straightforward, with Tynan rhapsodic on flugelhorn and Lington offering an impressive solo of his own. "Surrounded" is the session's most animated and accessible number, giving everyone a chance to shine as Tynan uses an electronic device to disguise the trumpet.

Rather than rest on their laurels, Tynan and Lington mapped out a specific game plan for Chapter Six, one that defines their musical partnership in present-day terms. While not every reader will be on the same page, Chapter Six unfolds according to their vision, which is all that any musician could desire. From a listener's point of view, there are more than a few moments of likeable music to be enjoyed as well.

Track Listing

By Iron and Fire; Traveler from an Antique Land; Arbitrary Rules; Angles; Dark Halo; Surrounded.

Personnel

Paul Tynan
trumpet
Aaron Lington
saxophone, baritone
Joe Abba
drums

Album information

Title: Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Six | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: OA2 Records


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