271

Jim McNeely / Kelly Sill / Joel Spencer: Boneyard

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Jim McNeely / Kelly Sill / Joel Spencer: Boneyard Jim McNeely, Kelly Sill and Joel Spencer have been performing together, whenever time and opportunity allowed, since they first met at the University of Illinois more than thirty years ago but had never recorded as a unit until now. After hearing Boneyard many listeners may be wondering why, as it's about as tasteful and charming as a piano-led trio album can be.

Pianist McNeely, a Chicagoan who is perhaps best known as music director of New York's superb Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and for his tenure with smaller groups led by Stan Getz and Phil Woods, is an attentive and adaptable moderator who is comfortable in any framework from straight-ahead to post-bop to avant-garde. With bassist Sill and drummer Spencer zealously guarding the castle, McNeely is free to roam, using his remarkable artistic powers to create memorable sound portraits of a series of popular and jazz standards, as well as original compositions from his musical storehouse and that of bassist Sill.

McNeely arranged every number, and his keen sense of harmony and tempo is invariably suitable and pleasing, an avowal that is readily underscored on the opening and closing bookends, "Speak Low" and "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning." The jazz standards include Dizzy Gillespie's seductive "Con Alma," Dave Brubeck's melodic "In Your Own Sweet Way" and Wayne Shorter's groovy "Fe Fi Fo Fum." McNeely wrote "For Manny (Albam?)" and the flag-waving "Ernie Banks," Sill "A Sense of Fairness" and Naomi."

Boneyard, by the way, isn't a cemetery or a place wherein to discard used trombones, but the name of a creek that runs through Champaign, IL, near whose placid waters McNeely, Sill and Spencer began their musical partnership. They've not forgotten that, nor have they forgotten how to produce lovely music together. The trio may be up a creek, but not without heavy-duty paddles.


Track Listing: Speak Low; Con Alma; In Your Own Sweet Way; For Manny; Fe Fi Fo Fum; A Sense of Fairness; Naomi; Ernie Banks; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.

Personnel: Jim McNeely: piano; Kelly Sill: bass; Joel Spencer: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Out On The Coast" CD/LP/Track Review Out On The Coast
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Wrong is Right" CD/LP/Track Review Wrong is Right
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Skylines" CD/LP/Track Review Skylines
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Juggling Kukla" CD/LP/Track Review Juggling Kukla
by John Sharpe
Published: June 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!