311

The Colin Byrne Jazz Orchestra: Leaving for Home

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Colin Byrne Jazz Orchestra: Leaving for Home 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 (73:40).

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

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: TDCB Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Chamber Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Chamber Jazz
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X" CD/LP/Track Review Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "In Love With" CD/LP/Track Review In Love With
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Moon Trio: Earth-Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moon Trio: Earth-Time
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Fugitive Beauté" CD/LP/Track Review Fugitive Beauté
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 11, 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!