113

John Hines: In the Pocket

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
John Hines: In the Pocket The title tune on trombonist John Hines' In the Pocket had me mulling over comparisons with—of course—the late trombone master J.J. Johnson. And I felt that where Mr. Johnson romanced the listener, charmed the ears with subtle sweet somethings, John Hines' approach was more like a sermon—an upbeat, life-affirming, straightforward exhortation. A fine, driving piece of mainstream jazz.

With tune two, the classic "I Could Write a Book," I knew something not just good, but really special was happening. Horn man Hugh Ragin joins the 'bone and rhythm section quartet here, slicing Hines' deep straight-ahead take on the melody with with a knife edge of muted trumpet cuts on a relaxed and fluid take on the song.

"My Secret Love," with a Latin groove to it, continues the mood; and then John Coltrane's "Central Park West" led me to suspect I had a disc in hand that might just qualify as a classic—as good as this mainstream thing gets. On this gorgeous song the three lead voices—Hines' trombone, Ragin's trumpet, and Michael Pagan's piano, in that order—perform, one after the other, magnificently, a transcendent display of inspired improvistational viruosity, each voice building on the impromptu statements predecessor; and I can't say enough about pianist Pagan's part. His buoyant, Count Basie-like accompaniment (swelling to eschew the Basie-esque reticence) behind Ragin's breathtaking trumpet solo lifts the music to a higher plane; and when he gets his spot, things go to a level I didn't suspect existed. And all of that is not to take away from Hines' opening statement that sings like a low register angel to get the process rolling.

"A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" invites vocalist Angela Holley into the mix, with her velvety deep timbre—a B flat clarinet crooning down in its low register—on a straight forward delivery of a not-done-often-enough classic that adds a dash of rich spice to the mix.

A wonderfully executed set, paced to perfection, with a vibrant trombone sound out front, a flexible rhythm section, a pianist whose crisp, bright sound counterpoints the leader's mellifuous low tones, and some knockout guest slots on trumpet/flugelhorn and vocal that slip right into the pocket. And they close with Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood," loose and late night-sounding, nothing to lose or gain, just good music.

A top ten of the year disc, no ifs or maybes. In that better alternate universe where jazz dominates the music charts, In the Pocket would be all over the radio.

Visit Capri Records on the web at www.caprirecords.com .


Track Listing: In the Pocket, I Could Write a Book, Secret Love, Central Park West, Hard times, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, More Than a Friend, Kickin' Back, In a Sentimental Mood

Personnel: John Hines--trombone; Michael Pagan--pinao, organ; Rob Ward--drums; Mike Williams--bass; Angela Holley--vocals on "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"; Hugh Ragin--trumpet/flugelhorn on "I Could Write a Book; "Central Park West; and "More Than a Friend

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
You & I
HinesDeVine Jazz Records
2015
buy
You & I
Hines DeVine Jazz Records
2004
buy

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Checkpoint" CD/LP/Track Review Checkpoint
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Avant Funk" CD/LP/Track Review Avant Funk
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "New Shoots" CD/LP/Track Review New Shoots
by Mike Oppenheim
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Everybody's Somebody's Nobody" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody's Somebody's Nobody
by John Sharpe
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Amorandom" CD/LP/Track Review Amorandom
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 3, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!