The quartet Hush Point conjures the possibilities of small group hipness. One that quips instead of guffaws, and prefers covertness to the obvious.
Led by John McNeil
, this quartet of saxophonist Jeremy Udden
, bassist Aryeh Kobrinksy, and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza
may be new, but McNeil's sage coolness isn't. The sixty-something trumpeter has been delivering hip since the 1970s with the Horace Silver
Quintet and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. As with his previous recordings with saxophonists Bill McHenry
, Chill Morn He Climb Jenny
(Sunnyside, 2010) and Allan Chase East Coast Cool
(Omnitone, 2006), McNeil chooses congenial partners. Udden's alto recalls the sound of Paul Desmond
and Lee Konitz
, and the rhythm section of Sperrazza and Kobrinksy are primed for sonorous expression.
Drawing from a West Coast tradition (McNeil was born in California, but is a longtime East Coaster) the music summons a Jimmy Giuffre
vibe. Covering two Giuffre compositions, "Iranic" and "The Train And The River," the quartet exudes a genial prosperity with Udden sounding extra dry throughout. Sperrazza sticks solely to brushes here, which effectively allows the players to utilize a wider range of sound. With little competition for space, Udden and McNeil tradeoff with a fair trade sound. McNeil's trumpet purrs and growls, yet maintains an affable illumination. Udden's "B. Remembered," written for Bob Brookmeyer
, summons early Chet Baker
sounds. McNeil's "Get Out"(based on "Get Happy") is an insouciant gambol of sound. The formalized casual nature of Hush Point
is its calling card.
Track Listing: Iranic; Peaceful; B. Remembered; Bar Talk; Fathers And Sons; Finely Done; New Bolero; The Train And The River; Get Out; Cat Magnet.
Personnel: John McNeil: trumpet; Jeremy Udden: alto saxophone; Aryeh Kobrinksy: bass; Vinnie Sperrazza: drums.
Title: Hush Point
| Year Released: 2013
| Record Label: Sunnyside Records