Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

185

Phil Kelly & the NW Prevailing Winds: Convergence Zone

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
A "convergence zone" is where winds from all over gather together to blow up a storm, which is an entirely appropriate metaphor for this tempestuous new album by composer/arranger Phil Kelly & the NW Prevailing Winds—except that Kelly not only has those formidable winds at his command but muscular brass and rhythm as well.

The tornadic uproar begins with Kelly's tongue-in-cheek "Damp Brown Places" (apologies to Stephen Foster) and doesn't subside until trumpeter Jay Thomas, tenor Pete Christlieb, pianist Pat Coil and the band have finished raiding "The Refrigerator." In all, eight of Kelly's impressive compositions (including the best known, "Sweet Georgia Upside Down") are performed by his stalwart ensemble, with Joe LaBarbera's loving tribute to the late Conte Candoli, "Bella Luce," and the standard "You and the Night and the Music" sandwiched midway between them.

One of the themes, "Yada Yada," sounds as though it could have been checked out almost intact from the Sammy Nestico/Count Basie library. The others are pure Kelly, including two ("Cuzn Bubba Luvz Ewe," "Refrigerator") that use a rhythm section imported from Nashville via software files with horn parts cleverly positioned around it and Christlieb and Bill Ramsay overdubbing the reed section. The results are so seamless it's hard to imagine that that everyone wasn't seated together in the same recording studio.

There's one brief respite along the way, the gracious "Kathy's Waltz," featuring Ramsay's soulful alto with programmed strings; the rest is breathtaking big-band fireworks punctuated by warm-blooded solos, chiefly by Christlieb and Thomas, who share the spotlight not only on "Cuzn Bubba," "Refrigerator" and "Yada Yada," but with drummer Gary Hobbs on "Damp Brown Places" and trombonist Dan Marcus on "Sweet Georgia." Thomas also pours heart and soul into his soliloquy on "Bella Luce."

Other prominent soloists include baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan (with Christlieb and Marcus) on "Subztatoot Shuffle" and trombonist Andy Martin with tenor Jim Coile, trumpeter Vern Seilert and pianist John Hansen on "You and the Night," Ramsay, Thomas, pianist Butch Nordal, trombonist Gary Shutes, alto Travis Ranney and bassist Chuck Deardorf on Kelly's "O.T.B.S." (which stands for "old time blues... expletive"). Speaking of Hobbs and Deardorf, they anchor a shrewd and sinewy rhythm section that provides an unerring compass and keeps everyone marching in close formation. Big-band albums this rewarding don't come along very often.


Track Listing: Damp Brown Places; Cuzn Bubba Luvz Ewe; Subztatoot Shuffle; Sweet Georgia Upside Down; Bella Luce; You and the Night and the Music; Yada Yada; O.T.B.S.; Kathy?s Waltz; The Refrigerator (65:11).

Personnel: Phil Kelly, leader, composer, arranger; Brad Allison, Jay Thomas, Paul Baron, Vern Seilert, trumpet, flugelhorn; Andy Martin, Gary Shutes, trombone; Dan Marcus, trombone, tuba; Nelson Bell, bass trombone; Bill Ramsay, Travis Ranney, Pete Christlieb, Jim Coile, Gary Smulyan, reeds; John Hanson, Butch Nordal, piano; Chuck Deardorf, bass; Gary Hobbs, drums. Rhythm section on ?Bubba? and ?Refrigerator? -- Pat Coil, piano; Mark Baldwin, guitar; Craig Nelson, electric bass (?Bubba?); Gerald Stockton, electric bass (?Refrigerator?); Paul Leim, drums. Matt Bennett, string programming.

Title: Convergence Zone | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Origin Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Deep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "That's What She Said..." CD/LP/Track Review That's What She Said...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Chrome" CD/LP/Track Review Chrome
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Moon Trio: Earth-Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moon Trio: Earth-Time
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: February 9, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor