303

Chad McCullough: Dark Wood, Dark Water

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Chad McCullough: Dark Wood, Dark Water Seattle trumpeter/composer Chad McCullough makes his recording debut as a leader with Dark Wood, Dark Water, a diverse sextet outing featuring eight original compositions and a fresh take on the Lennon/McCartney classic "Blackbird." Along with the all-star rhythm section of pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Jeff Johnson and Drummer John Bishop, McCullough is joined by saxophonists Mark Taylor and Geof Bradfield.

McCullough proves a thoughtful improviser with technique to spare. His soloing on the opening "Three Pillars" and "Blackbird" builds from low-keyed rumblings to upper register, drawn-out runs. While many freshman discs result in nothing more than a showcase for an artists blazing chops, McCullough exhibits a refreshingly lyrical approach, especially on the warm-textured waltz "Home" and the brooding "Bock's Car." Trumpet players will appreciate the spirited blowing on the up-tempo swinger "Nightmare's Dance" and the Latin-inspired "Anatomy of Conscience." The latter features a fiery back-and-forth between McCullough and Bradfield.

As a composer, McCullough develops simple themes into enticing musical statements, enhanced by lush harmonic progressions. These characteristics give the disc an invigorating momentum, especially on plaintive pieces such as "Lock Down" and 'The Oracle."

Solo space is spread around equally, allowing Taylor and Bradfield plenty of opportunity to shine. Taylor's sizzling bebop turns on "Nightmare's Dance" stand out as a disc highlight. Anschell, Johnson and Bishop are a provocative rhythm section, able to keep things grounded while firing off explosive improvised rounds.

All in all, Dark Wood, Dark Water is an impressive first round for one of Seattle's young musical gems.


Track Listing: Three Pillars; Blackbird; Nightmare's Dance; Lock Down; Home; Bock's Car; Anatomy of Conscience; Dreamscape; The Oracle.

Personnel: Chad McCullough: trumpet, flugelhorn; Mark Taylor: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Geof Bradfield: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bill Anschell: piano; Jeff Johnson: bass; John Bishop: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "I'll Be Seeing You" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Be Seeing You
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "The Third Decade" CD/LP/Track Review The Third Decade
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "The Brothers Brown:  Dusty Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Brothers Brown: Dusty Road
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Central Line" CD/LP/Track Review Central Line
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Across the Universe" CD/LP/Track Review Across the Universe
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 1, 2016
Read "Swong" CD/LP/Track Review Swong
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!