148

John McNeil: East Coast Cool

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The music called "West Coast Cool" was well-represented by the mid-fifties Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker Quartet, with Mulligan on the baritone saxophone and Baker on trumpet, backed by bass and drums. Working without a chording instrument—piano or guitar—was quite innovative at the time. The sound, in contrast to the sharper-edged bop of the day, had a loose, fluid feeling, a "cool" flow.

Trumpeter John McNeil's resume includes stints with the Horace Silver Quintet and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, as well as work with Mulligan himself. McNeil was hired to write arrangements for a Mulligan truibute band after the baritone saxophonist/composer's death; and what better way to get inside the music.

McNeil's association with Mulligan and the man's music inpired East Coast Cool. With the same piano-less quartet instrumentation—in this case McNeil on trumpet, Alan Chase on baritone sax, John Hebert on bass, and the ubiquitous Matt Wilson on drums—the West Coast Cool sound gets an infusion of East Coast freedom, a bit more of an edge, and a slightly higher level of intensity and abstraction.

McNeil, who wrote most of the tunes here, has more bite in his trumpet tone compared to Baker's. He and Chase blow loose unison lines that melt into wandering solos and sinuous conversations, much the way Baker and Mulligan did it. A big difference is in the bass/drum approach of Hebert and Wilson; they are more integrated into the quartet, more vibrant, adding much to the more modern sound of the band.

East Coast Cool freshens the Mulligan/Baker cool sound with an East Coast edge.

Track Listing: Deadline, A Time to Go, Brothr Frank, Bernie's tune, Duet #1, Delusions, Wanwood, Internal Hurdles, Duet #2, Waltz Helios, Schoenberg's Piano Concerto, GAB

Personnel: John McNeil: trumpet; Alan Chase: baritone saxophone; John Hebert: bass; Matt Wilson: drums

Title: East Coast Cool | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: OmniTone


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "May I Introduce To You" CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Beatrice" CD/LP/Track Review Beatrice
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Meet Me At Minton's" CD/LP/Track Review Meet Me At Minton's
by James Nadal
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" CD/LP/Track Review EE-YA-GI (Stories)
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Déjà Vu" CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor