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; Come

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.

Title: First Flight | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Summit Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Stereotomic" CD/LP/Track Review Stereotomic
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Through The Hours" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Hours
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Meditation / Resurrection" CD/LP/Track Review Meditation / Resurrection
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Samba Gostoso" CD/LP/Track Review Samba Gostoso
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Small World" CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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