Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

135

Eric Mintel Quartet: Hopscotch

By

Sign in to view read count
Eric Mintel's 4th album features the leader/pianist's compositions except for Dave Brubeck's 1968 penned rarely recorded "Forty Days" and the Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol classic "Caravan". Brubeck's work is an interesting one. It's from a religious oratorio "The Light in the Wilderness". Mintel and group capture the religious intensity of the piece as Neil Wetzel plays with both fervor and passion. A close listen catches a few bars of Brubeck's more familiar work, "In Your Own Sweet Way".

This album gives the listener more than an hour of solid mainstream jazz with a progressive touch. While Mintel is the leader and is expert at the piano and with the composing pen, Neil Wetzel deserves equal billing. His saxophone has a unique tone, sharp, yet highly melodic, something like John Coltrane's inflection on his ballad albums. He also shows his touch with the clarinet on a lilting "Swinging on a Sunday". Mintel's compositions all are pleasant pieces prepared and performed sometimes easygoing, sometimes a bit cerebral, but always refreshing. Mintel clearly appreciates the importance of melody in music. It not only makes the music attractive to the ear, but provides the players a base from which they can take off and improvise. This perspective is heard on such pieces as "Japanese Maple" with Wetzel once more carrying the load, but getting assistance from Dave Antonow's bass. There is also a sense of the modal inherent in some pieces such as with "To Jobim" which, of course, has a Latin beat. A lively rendition of "Hopscotch" captures the bounce and fun of that age old children's pastime.

Mintel works out of East Stroudsburg, PA and this CD was cut at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. This only goes to show that highly urbanized and so-called cosmopolitan settings aren't necessary to produce fine jazz music. Recommended.

Track Listing: Hopscotch; Forty Days; Swingin' on a Sunday; Japanese Maple; Caribbean Moonlight; Dance of the Beautiful; Philadelphia Blues; To Jobim; Fall Waltz; Strollin'; Caravan

Personnel: Eric Mintel - Piano/Leader; Neil Wetzel - Saxes/Clarinet/Flute; Dave Antonow - Bass; Jeremy Berberian - Drums

Title: Hopscotch | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: EJM

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019
Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019