197

John McNeil: East Coast Cool

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
John McNeil: East Coast Cool Celebrating the piano-less quartet sound that Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker brought us over 40 years ago, trumpeter John McNeil reflects on their individual spirit with a free jazz interpretation of his own. As he applies Mulligan's arranging principles to free music, his quartet introduces a unique sound that remains both cool and intense. McNeil, 57, spent some time working with Mulligan, and he was asked to write arrangements for a Gerry Mulligan tribute band after the baritone saxophonist passed away. That project inspired this one.

McNeil's trumpet has a shadowy tone that he's employed on numerous free jazz projects. His tone is shallow, but his meaning is heartfelt. The trumpeter combines that unique spirit with a hardy baritone saxophone resonance that closely resembles Baker and Mulligan in tonal concept. Add a walking bass and swinging drummer and you get the original. But that's not the idea here.

McNeil and his fellow artists push the envelope. Sure, they swing, trade fours, and stretch out with exciting solo spots. But here, the quartet weaves a mysterious ring around each element and leaves a trail of avant proportions. Allan Chase's big, burly baritone saxophone rings out with a powerful voice. Double bass and drums color with interesting patterns that are anything but ordinary. And McNeil's one-of-a-kind trumpet allure encircles each piece with a personal stamp that speaks of freedom in jazz.

Brother Frank sashays with a mellow blues hue. "Deadline hurries up-tempo with places to go and people to see. "Delusions comes with built-in surprises that reinforce McNeil's free spirit. "Waltz Helios drives with a traditional majestic spirit, while McNeil's nod to "Schoenberg scrambles with a happy twelve-tone appearance. "Bernie's Tune and "GAB recall the original Mulligan piano-less quartet vividly with a fresh interpretation.

From one pioneer to another, McNeil and crew honor the memory of Gerry Mulligan with a fresh voice of their own. Each selection brings a welcome surprise.


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

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

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: OmniTone | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

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 The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Monte Alban" CD/LP/Track Review Monte Alban
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Nomade Orquestra" CD/LP/Track Review Nomade Orquestra
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Aziza" CD/LP/Track Review Aziza
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "The Lightning Bell" CD/LP/Track Review The Lightning Bell
by John Eyles
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Omío" CD/LP/Track Review Omío
by James Nadal
Published: August 31, 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!