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...

1

John McNeil: Hush Point III

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Trumpeter John McNeil is a real trooper, battling and overcoming much physical adversity, but nevertheless engaging in long-term projects such as the group Hush Point. Joined by saxophonist Jeremy Udden, with Aryeh Kobrinsky on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums, McNeil's somewhat idiosyncratic sense of humor (musical and otherwise) is on display, as is his desire to forge a true group sound and aesthetic.

The group's marvelous, and purposefully underwhelming third release Hush Point III is full of so much humor combined with seriousness of purpose and high musicianship that it can be played over and over and continue to surprise and shock in its own underhanded and subversive way (the earlier two are Hush Point and Blues and Reds). You can get a good feeling for Hush Point's unique attitude here.

As stated in the review of McNeil's 2006 release East Coast Cool, the best jazz has a subversive quality about it, coming from the direct connection of player's heart and soul with the listener, rather than mere "jazz" stylings. McNeil would much rather speak softly, even whisper rather than shout, and in this endeavor has found the perfect partner in Udden.

Udden has paid his dues, notably in Russ Gershon's Either/Orchestra (see Ethiopiques 20: Live In Addis) and possesses one of the most beautiful saxophone sounds in the business (think Paul Desmond). Gershon had the same kind serious- tongue-in-cheek attitude as McNeil and Udden seems to have the same kind of outlook. As an interesting aside, Udden has added the C-melody saxophone to his arsenal, evoking the memory of Frankie Trumbauer, and gets top billing on the musician listing.

In any case, Hush Point's highly refracted, personal and extremely tight brand of mainstream, accessible music, presented by the dry and transparent recorded sound is completely engrossing from beginning to end. There is structure, harmony, swing within arrangements both fixed and flexible, and the record sounds like a live set.

The music is hip, very, very ironically cool and just plain fun while being deeply thoughtful, from the originals, (mostly McNeil, but also Udden's "Azmari Bar" and Kobrinsky's "It's A Pocketbook") to a fantastic performance of the beautiful standard, "More Than You Know," which is in the middle of a natural sounding suite of three tracks.

Hush Point III, whatever label is applied to it, is simply excellent music making.

Track Listing: Rhythm Method; Wilbur; It's a Pocketbook; Azmari Bar; PG-13; Suite: Cautiously Pessimistic, More Than You Know, Snappy; Journey's End.

Personnel: Jeremy Udden: alto saxophone, C-Melody saxophone; John McNeil: trumpet; Aryeh Kobrinsky: bass; Anthony Pinciotti: drums.

Title: Hush Point III | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Brother Frank

Brother Frank

John McNeil
East Coast Cool

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Hush Point III

Hush Point III

Sunnyside Records
2017

buy
John McNeil: Hush Point

John McNeil: Hush...

Sunnyside Records
2014

buy
Hush Point

Hush Point

Sunnyside Records
2014

buy
Hush Point

Hush Point

Sunnyside Records
2013

buy
 

Chill Morn He Climb...

Sunnyside Records
2011

buy
Chill Morn He Climb Jenny

Chill Morn He Climb...

Sunnyside Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Descansado - Songs For Films" CD/LP/Track Review Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Tenderness is Silent" CD/LP/Track Review Tenderness is Silent
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2018
Read "Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two
by Chris May
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Doubles, Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Doubles, Vol. 1
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 17, 2018
Read "Traveler" CD/LP/Track Review Traveler
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "The Planets" CD/LP/Track Review The Planets
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 6, 2018