177

Miles Donahue: In The Pocket

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Miles Donahue: In The Pocket Multi-instrumentalist Miles Donahue didn't get serious about jazz until he was forty-five years old. Prior to his belated commitment, he spent nearly twenty years working weddings, functions and lounges—bread and butter jobs to pay the rent and support a family. But when he did make the decision to go for it, he went in body and heart and soul, recording a couple of first rate CDs on Ram Records before he decided to establish his own record company, Amerigo Records. In The Pocket is Donahue's first release on the label, and if his jazz dreams simmered for some years, they burst into a rolling boil here.

Donahue—one of the few jazz players who double on reeds and trumpet—plays mostly alto sax on this set; and while the disc's title suggests a contained and 'in the pocket' affair, that suggestion is only half right. The tunes—ten of the eleven are Donahue-penned—might go with a groove, but Donahue is a soloist of extraordinary creativity inventiveness; and when tenor sax man Jerry Bergonzi joins him, the results are doubly-stunning.

Donahue's alto approach is intense, his solos full of surprises—loops and swirls and eddies and churning currents. He plays with Art Pepper's urgency, George Coleman's inventiveness within the geometry of the composition, and Jackie McLean's strung-tight edginess.

In The Pocket is mainstream jazz, at its highest level, thanks in good measure to Donahue's arranging skills. Each and every tune has a sparkle and polish, similar in attitude to the George Coleman/Ned Otter collaborations Danger High Voltage and So Little Time.

A consistently sharp-edged set of straight ahead sounds. Highlights: just about any solo by Donahue or Jerry Bergonzi, anywhere on the disc; "4D's and a G" for the Jerry Bergonzi/ Donahue tenor/alto interplay; "Kelneka" for pianist Fred Hersch's eloquent solo.

Mainstream jazz doesn't get much better...

Visit Miles Donahue on the web


Track Listing: In The Pocket, Kelneka, McEjim, 4 D's and a G, Emma's Song, Lights Out, All the Way, A Sometime thing, Waitin' for the Ice Cream Man, In the Pocket, Emma's Song-reprise

Personnel: Miles Donahue, alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet, and keyboards; Jamey Haddad, drums; Fred Hersch, piano; Jay Anderson, bass; Jerry Bergonzi, tenor sax; Ricardo Monzon, percussion; Kurt Rosenwinkle, guitar; Dan Greenspan, bass; John Paul, guitar

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Amerigo Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Magic Peterson Sunshine" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Peterson Sunshine
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Forty" CD/LP/Track Review Forty
by James Nadal
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Real Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Real Talk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "ScratchBop" CD/LP/Track Review ScratchBop
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Fierce Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Fierce Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 4, 2016

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!