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

201

Bob Sneider and Joe Locke Film Noir Project: Fallen Angel

By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Bob Sneider and Joe Locke Film Noir Project: Fallen Angel Very, very nice this one is, the absence of an overall noir atmosphere no cause for complaint. The project, under the leadership of Bob Sneider and Joe Locke, looks at the scores of cinematic works of the film noir genre, simply for material worth performing. Maybe somebody thought the genre might have occasioned unusual inspiration and produced themes of substantial jazz potential. Speculate if you like, and admire the considerable inventiveness of the arrangements.

There's something in the initial material. Witness notably Grant Stewart's building of a tenor solo on "Mulholland Falls," which couldn't have been done without a foundation. We have to wait to hear Stewart work out, which he does also on "Body Heat." On "Farewell, My Lovely" (arranged Phil Flanigan), he trades slow fours impressively with the vibraphone of Joe Locke, himself perhaps the sole big name in the band.

I'm not complaining about the balance of soloists, there's just a little suspense built into the programming. There's been a lot of Locke by the time Stewart gets to make his mark—and Locke is there giving him great support.

The moving, touching, quiet opener is without horns. Then John Sneider's bright lyric trumpet opens a sample from "Chinatown," before gathering pace to become something of a trumpet feature. He develops a melancholy tone, with Hofmann's plangent piano and the colourings which mark Locke as a star accompanist.

Blending of characters is another dramatic aspect of this never-aggressive set. Trumpet and vibes ride the ensemble textures of "Les Modernes," to cite one of numerous scenes for two. In the dreamy intimacy of "Katya," Locke delivers a soliloquy. "Promenade Sentimentale," a great tune arranged by the trumpeter, gives a clearer presentation of the quality contributions of the bassist and drummer.

Bob Sneider is everywhere—with several arrangements, and as both ensemble and solo guitarist: from the interplay with vibes on "Fallen Angel" through the flamenco of Thomas Stanko's "A Farewell to Maria" (arranged by Chris Ziemba), to his interaction with Hofmann's piano in the later stages of the closer. He and Locke might have relished this set for several opportunities to conjure a range of colour and effect in ensemble and accompaniment. Paul Hofmann, as well as being the one band member to contribute an original tune, "Last Kiss," gets to show his paces when it becomes a piano feature or dramatic monologue. He also gets to show his paces on the closer, as arranger and soloist.

These compositions from film noir have polychrome arrangements and spark creative initiatives, structured overall as a very mellow, melancholy-tinged performance on unhackneyed themes well-found.


Track Listing: Fallen Angel; Chinatown; Les Modernes; Katya; Promenade Sentimentale; Mulholland Falls; Body Heat; A Farewell To Maria; Last Kiss; Farewell, My Lovely; Hurricane Country.

Personnel: Bob Sneider: guitar; Joe Locke: vibraphone; Grant Stewart: tenor saxophone; John Sneider: trumpet; Paul Hofmann: piano; Phil Flanigan: bass; Mike Melito: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sons of Sound | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

  • High Peaks
    High Peaks
    Paul Hofmann & Bob Sneider
    Serve & Volley
  • Black Dahlia
    Black Dahlia
    Bob Sneider & Joe Locke Film Noir Project
    Nocturne For Ava
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Nocturne for Ava
Nocturne for Ava
Origin Records
2009
buy
All Through the Night
All Through the Night
Indies Records
2007
buy
Escapade
Escapade
Sons of Sound
2006
buy
Fallen Angel
Fallen Angel
Sons of Sound
2006
buy
Interconnection
Interconnection
Sons of Sound
2004
buy
Out of the Darkness
Out of the Darkness
Sons of Sound
2003
buy
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker
sax, alto
Stan Getz Stan Getz
sax, tenor
Jimmy Smith Jimmy Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Barney Kessel Barney Kessel
guitar, electric
Bud Powell Bud Powell
piano
Wynton Kelly Wynton Kelly
piano

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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