All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

199

John McNeil: East Coast Cool

Brian P. Lonergan By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
John McNeil: East Coast Cool Trumpeter/composer John McNeil is after a "third stream of sorts with East Coast Cool. His avowed purpose is to meld the cool jazz feel of the Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker quartet (which featured baritone sax and trumpet, but no piano) with the more decentralized approach and edge of modern free jazz. While it's impossible to know how the masters of yesterday might have approached this challenge, McNeil (who played with Mulligan and arranged for his tribute band) submits a pretty convincing model here.

Comprised mostly of McNeil originals, East Coast Cool is overall a well-balanced album. There are through-composed pieces like the laid-back modal "A Time to Go, with a beautiful melody in the horns, as well as harmonically or metrically free numbers, and tracks that are both in turn. Near the end of "Internal Hurdles, the group emerges from some far-flung free playing to sneak back into the theme. The seamless transition announces that you're in the hands of a highly skilled ensemble.

For this project McNeil assembled some top-notch instrumentalists. His quartet features Allan Chase's brawny but acrobatic baritone, Matt Wilson's nimble drumming (mainly with brushes) and John Hebert's rich bass. Standout tracks include the gentle ballad "Wanwood, featuring one of McNeil's more understated yet inspired solos; and "Waltz Helios, whose quirky two-note theme alternates with more flowing melodies. On "Delusions, Wilson begins a snare drum roll almost imperceptibly with the brushes and builds a wonderfully controlled crescendo nearly a minute long.


Track Listing: Deadline; A Time to Go; Brother Frank; Bernie's Tune; Duet #1; Delusions; Wanwood; Internal Hurdles; Duet #2; Waltz Helios; Schoenberg's Piano Concerto; GAB.

Personnel: John McNeil: trumpet; Allan Chase: baritone saxophone; John Hebert: bass; Matt Wilson: drums, slide whistle.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: OmniTone | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
John McNeil: Hush Point
John McNeil: Hush...
Sunnyside Records
2014
buy
Hush Point
Hush Point
Sunnyside Records
2014
buy
Hush Point
Hush Point
Sunnyside Records
2013
buy
Chill Morn He Climb Jenny
Chill Morn He Climb...
Sunnyside Records
2010
buy
East Coast Cool
East Coast Cool
OmniTone
2006
buy
East Coast Cool
East Coast Cool
OmniTone
2005
buy
Yusef Lateef Yusef Lateef
reeds
Paul Desmond Paul Desmond
sax, alto
Brad Shepik Brad Shepik
guitar
Greg Tardy Greg Tardy
sax, tenor
Billy Cobham Billy Cobham
drums
Joel Holmes Joel Holmes
piano
Uri Caine Uri Caine
piano
Ingrid Jensen Ingrid Jensen
trumpet
Mark Colby Mark Colby
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.