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Kevin O'Connell Quartet Featuring Adam Brenner: Hot New York Minutes


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Kevin O'Connell Quartet Featuring Adam Brenner: Hot New York Minutes
Finding one's own voice as a musician is never an easy process; extending that to taking the spotlight and leading your own band is another step up. For some, it can take years. Kevin O'Connell is an example of exactly that. He has been a jazz pianist since the 1980s, working with the Clifford Jordan Quartet for six years, Vernel Fournier's trio for eight years and as a sideman in countless other projects. He has finally delivered his long overdue release as a leader in his own right on Hot New York Minutes.

O'Connell performs three of his own compositions, two by his alto & tenor-saxophonist, Adam Brenner, together with five lesser- known straight-ahead jazz songs from well-known artists. Bassist, Paul Gill and drummer, Mark Taylor, complete the quartet. O'Connell's long-time friend and associate, Adam Brenner, is a key component of this quartet and the album cover reflects that. He has toured extensively with Lionel Hampton and worked with such notable artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Benny Golson and Lou Donaldson. O'Connell and Brenner collaborated to put this collection of songs together.

The album opens with Cedar Walton's, "Newest Blues." The recording immediately has a period feel. It introduces all of the band, gives them their moment to shine and swings throughout, Gill's bowed bass break being a highlight. This is followed by the first of O'Connell's originals, "One For Cliff." This has a swinging sax exploration from Brenner, followed by an appealing break from O'Connell. Brenner contributes the pleasing "Boo Deh Dah," before another O'Connell composition, the gently swaying and Latin-hued, "Playa Culebirta."

In every track, O'Connell allows his partners plenty of space to solo. Gill delivers further fine bass solos in Bill Lee's, "Biskit," and Tadd Dameron's, "Choose Now." O'Connell's own compositions sit well with this company, "Blue Seven," slows the pace with a late-night feel, allowing Brenner's lyrical sax full rein over fine brushwork from Taylor (check the YouTube below). "For Heaven's Sake," probably the best known of the covers, has O'Connell and Brenner playing lyrically and fluidly.

This recording has a real live feel, at times one might expect applause to break out at the end of the tracks. Some of the newer tunes sound like classic songs from the '50s and '60s and sit well with the lesser known covers. O'Connell's turn in the spotlight is well-deserved, he offers a fresh voice and hopefully there will be more projects in the future. This is an album which is likely to delight lovers of high quality straight-ahead jazz.

Track Listing

Newest Blues; One for Cliff; Boo Deh Dah; Playa Culebrita; Biskit; Choose Now; Blue Seven; For Heaven's Sake; One for George; A Thought.


Adam Brenner
saxophone, tenor
Paul Gill
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Mark Taylor: drums

Album information

Title: Hot New York Minutes | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Self Produced

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