184

The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: First Flight

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: First Flight On the aptly named First Flight, the inaugural recording as leader of his own big band, Pete McGuinness does almost everything except drive the band bus and clean up the studio afterward—and I wouldn't doubt that he did that as well.

McGuinness wrote six of the album's nine tunes, arranged them all, crafts likable trombone solos on three numbers, and sings on two more—Charlie Chaplin's "Smile and his urbane finale, "A Fond Farewell. Happily, he does everything well, and is well-served by a splendid ensemble that ardently embraces his ideas and helps make them sparkle. McGuinness has paid his dues, working in groups large and small, as sideman or co-leader, since arriving in New York more than two decades ago, and the album is a long-envisioned and logical outcome of his varied pursuits. As McGuinness says, "[Writing] for my own orchestra has been a dream of mine since childhood.

As a composer/arranger, McGuinness leans toward such modernists as Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Holman and others, and always swings, as does the orchestra, which was formed in September, 2006 and is comprised of musical comrades McGuinness has encountered in the Big Apple. His dream takes wing on "First Flight, an exuberant flag-waver that accommodates well-cooked solos by McGuinness, trumpeter Chris Rogers, and tenor Tom Christensen. McGuinness does more scatting than singing on "Smile —in a high-tenor, Chet Baker-style voice—and scats exclusively on "Farewell, whose eloquent soloists are alto Dave Pietro ("Smile ), baritone Dave Riekenberg, and bassist Andy Eulau ("Farewell ).

McGuinness' lucid trombone is showcased on Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes, as is Mike Holober's cogent piano on Ivan Lins' "Começer de Novo. McGuinness wrote the last five numbers, one of which, the lyrical "Spring Song, fellow trombonist John Fedchock opines in the liner notes, "could become a new standard, a sentiment that won't be challenged here. "Lonely Dance (solos by McGuinness, Holober, and Rogers) is a buoyant nod to Brookmeyer, the modal blues "Chase Scene (Mobley, Armour, and drummer Scott Neumann) another rapid-fire swinger, and "The Tricksters a sunny vehicle for the "rest of the trombone section (Armour, Mike Christianson, Bruce Eidem, bass trombonist Jeff Nelson).

Although it took a long while to launch this craft, once airborne it has shown its ability to soar with the best of them. Here's hoping this is the first of many "flights by McGuinness and his exemplary Jazz Orchestra.


Track Listing: First Flight; Smile; Infant Eyes; Começar de Novo; Lonely Dance; Chase Scene; Spring Song; The Tricksters; A Fond Farewell (61:32).

Personnel: Pete McGuinness: leader, composer, arranger, trombone, vocals (2, 9); Tony Kadleck: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jon Owens: trumpet, flugelhorn; Bill Mobley: trumpet, flugelhorn; Chris Rogers: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Pietro: alto sax, flute; Charles Pillow: alto sax, flute; Tom Christensen: tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Jason Rigby: tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Dave Riekenberg: baritone sax; Bruce Eidem: trombone; Mike Christianson: trombone; Steve Armour: trombone; Jeff Nelson: bass trombone; Mike Holober: piano; Andy Eulau: bass; Scott Neumann: drums; Paul Meyers (4): guitar.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Summit Records | Style: Big Band


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 Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Taking Flight" CD/LP/Track Review Taking Flight
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 16, 2016
Read "Border Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Border Crossing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Collectables" CD/LP/Track Review Collectables
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Altered Narratives" CD/LP/Track Review Altered Narratives
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 13, 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!