174

Virginia Tech Jazz Lab: Feeding Frenzy

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Virginia Tech Jazz Lab is ably supervised by Chip McNeill, who held down a saxophone chair in Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau band, among others, but plays only piano on Feeding Frenzy, leaving the sax–playing duties to Patrick Barbie (who shares the front line with trumpeter Jason Price). What emerges is a respectable blowing session in which everyone is given ample room to stretch (while the songs vary in length, they average nearly nine minutes apiece with the standard “On Green Dolphin Street,” recorded in concert, the longest–running track at 15:16). “Green Dolphin Street” follows another fairly well–known song, Bernstein/Sondheim’s “Somewhere” (from the Broadway musical West Side Story ). The other half–dozen selections (recorded in a studio) are originals, but my advance copy of the disc includes no composer credits. I assume the members of the quintet (except McNeill, of course) are students at Virginia Tech, and it sounds as though they’ve rehearse! d together, as group interplay is generally admirable. The same can be said of the session as a whole, although it’s more competent than compelling. In other words, everyone plays well without producing an indelible impression. Like Price and Barbie, the rhythm section of McNeill, Ousley and Crouse completes its assigned tasks with ease but seldom rises above the level of workmanlike, a term that applies as much to McNeill’s earnest endeavors at the keyboard as it does to the improvisations by Price and Barbie. In sum, a usually commendable if less than riveting performance by five well–schooled young men (no pun intended) who give each song their best shot but aren’t yet ready for prime time.

Track listing: The Helix; Waltz for Dave; Roll Call; Jason’s Pig; Justine; Feeding Frenzy; Somewhere; On Green Dolphin Street (70:15).

Personnel:

Chip McNeill, director, piano; Jason Price, trumpet; Patrick Barbie, tenor saxophone; Jamie Ousley, bass; Jeff Crouse, drums.

Contact: Chip McNeill, director of Jazz Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 241 Squires Student Center, Campus Mail Code 0240, Blacksburg, VA 24061

| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
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 "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "One For Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland" CD/LP/Track Review One For Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Supreme" CD/LP/Track Review Supreme
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "All The Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review All The Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Mount Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Mount Meander
by John Sharpe
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Tropical Infinito" CD/LP/Track Review Tropical Infinito
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 8, 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!