Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

311

The Colin Byrne Jazz Orchestra: Leaving for Home

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Even though it veers occasionally into choppy waters, this ambitious album by the Colin Byrne Jazz Orchestra starts on an even keel and charts a generally straight-ahead course before crashing headlong onto the shoals of free jazz. Among comparable ensembles, the one that most immediately came to my mind is the Mingus Big Band, which should give aficionados an idea of Byrne's game plan and mindset.

Byrne, whom I assume is Irish—the orchestra is British-based and was recorded (live) at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds—is a young composer/arranger who respects the big band tradition but has some fresh ideas for the new millennium, most of which fit quite snugly into the time-honored big-band format. Even his stab at free jazz, "Demolition Baritone, isn't so "free as to abandon musical convention altogether, as there are recognizable (and quite pleasing) melodies complementing the more unrehearsed digressions of baritone saxophonist Sam Thornton and drummer Tony Faulkner.

Despite its uncommon name, the opener, "Crazy Monday, is a fairly straightforward anthem whose occasional dissonances aren't in the least unpleasant. Even so, braving its nearly twenty-minute playing time is an exercise in alertness and self-control. One can hear the Mingus influence underscoring extended solos by Thornton, Faulkner, trombonist Andy Hiller, pianist Chris Moore, guitarist Darren Dutson-Bromley and bassist Paul Moore. The fast-paced "Talking encompasses earnest solos by Moore, Dutson-Bromley, tenor Tony Burkill and trumpeter Jamie Hamilton, while Byrne's Irish connection is most prominent on "1916, written to honor the Dublin uprising of Easter 1916 that led to the formation of the Republic of Ireland. The enterprising solos are by Moore, Faulkner, tenor Rob Mitchell and trumpeter Sean Hollis.

"Leaving for Home, written, says Byrne, while his girlfriend was packing her bags to split, "is quite a happy tune. No hard feelings, I suppose. The centerpiece is a lengthy solo by Burkill during which he occasionally strays well over the top, causing one to search for the nearest bottle of aspirin. "Time to Remind Me is Byrne's interesting nod toward modal Jazz, "As If Only a dynamic theme written for one of Byrne's close friends, clarinetist Alison Sheldon. Hamilton, Moore, Faulkner and trombonist Matt Ball are the soloists on "Remind Me, Ball, Hamilton, Burkill (clarinet) and alto Don Donnelley on "As If Only.

Byrne's orchestra is impressive, his compositions and arrangements no less so, and Leaving for Home is a splendid album for those who appreciate contemporary big band jazz with a cutting edge.


Track Listing: Crazy Monday; Talking; 1916; Leaving For Home; Time To Remind Me; As If Only; Demolition Baritone.

Personnel: Colin Byrne: director; Don Donelly, Steve Salkind, Tony Burkill, Rob Mitchell, Sam Thorton: reeds; Tom Tait, Sean Hollis, Gareth Smith, James Hamilton: trumpet; Matt Ball, Andy Hiller, Scott Coutts, Chris Hibbard: trombone; Chris Moore: piano; Darren Dutson-Bromley: guitar; Paul Moore: bass; Tony Faulkner: drums.

Title: Leaving For Home | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: TDCB Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik" CD/LP/Track Review Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Burnt Hibiscus" CD/LP/Track Review Burnt Hibiscus
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "King For A Day" CD/LP/Track Review King For A Day
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by John Sharpe
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "The AV Club" CD/LP/Track Review The AV Club
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 18, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor