All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

11

Michael McNeill Trio: Flight

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Michael McNeill and his trio (bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Phil Haynes) return after Passageways with the marvelous Flight.

The first notes of "Placid Ruffled" indicate McNeill's classical background and compositional intent. The album is extremely well recorded, allowing, at least with headphones, for every overtone and their interactions to be heard clearly (especially in "Land"). This sound world envelopes the ear and prepares the way for music that lies between the purely abstract, tunes and sound paintings.

Brimming with intelligence and passion, McNeill's compositions, even those that are "tunes" ("Za" and "In That Number") twist and turn in unexpected directions that nevertheless feel logical and purposeful. McNeill has an extremely solid rhythmic sense and hence can play behind, on, and ahead of the beat with no sense of confusion, but rather one that always provides a feel of knowing direction.

The support given by Filiano and Haynes is magnificent; they play an equal part in the music, creating music that can be from this trio and no other. Both are extremely strong and are quite at home when playing in a more standard harmonic/rhythmic role as well when called to become abstract sound painters.

All of these features come together in "Wild Geese Suite," arguably the core of the album, and one very intense twenty-three minutes of music. Made up of three parts, "Cloudburst," "Placid Ruffled" (this time filled out) and "Follow Our Sun," the suite paints an extremely large sound stage that seems to be suspended in mid-air. The sound of the opening of "Follow Our Sun" is extremely reminiscent of the Bobo Stenson trio with Anders Jormin and Jon Christensen, which gives some idea of how this music sounds at once very precise, but also intensely compressed.

Engaging from start to finish, Flight is one of those special albums can be enjoyed on many levels. Welding complexity and abstraction with rhythmic drive, and encompassing a very wide range of emotion, McNeill, Filiano and Haynes have created music which is timeless, with more of its secrets revealed with each listen.

Track Listing: Placid Ruffled; Za; Skies; No Dice; Picture Window; Land; Wild Geese Suite: Cloudburst, Placid Ruffled, Follow Our Sun; In That Number.

Personnel: Michael McNeill: piano; Ken Filiano: bass; Phil Haynes: drums.

Title: Flight | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

No Dice

No Dice

Michael McNeill
Flight

I'm OK Now

I'm OK Now

Michael McNeill
Passageways

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Read more articles
Flight

Flight

Self Produced
2015

buy
Passageways

Passageways

Self Produced
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Colours of Sound CD/LP/Track Review
Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read A Blast From The Past CD/LP/Track Review
A Blast From The Past
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Rhapsody CD/LP/Track Review
Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read You're Driving Me Crazy CD/LP/Track Review
You're Driving Me Crazy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Chants To The Sea - The Corium project" CD/LP/Track Review Chants To The Sea - The Corium project
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 30, 2018
Read "The Urmuz Epigrams" CD/LP/Track Review The Urmuz Epigrams
by Don Phipps
Published: April 9, 2018
Read "Live at U of T" CD/LP/Track Review Live at U of T
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Inland Sea" CD/LP/Track Review Inland Sea
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Wonder Trail" CD/LP/Track Review Wonder Trail
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "Beethoven – Missa Solemnis" CD/LP/Track Review Beethoven – Missa Solemnis
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 17, 2018