9

Joe Magnarelli: Lookin' Up!

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Magnarelli: Lookin' Up! Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli has been a jazz scene stalwart for 30 years. Based in New York since 1986 he's worked with a broad range of musicians including Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Cobb and Michael Feinstein and has released a series of albums as leader. Lookin' Up! is his first recording for the Posi-Tone label and it proves to be a fine addition to that label's roster of top-flight straight-ahead jazz.

Lookin' Up! is a quintet outing, with trombonist and fellow Posi-Tone artist Steve Davis sharing the front line with Magnarelli. The album has a full, rich, sound courtesy of producer Marc Free and engineer Nick O'Toole. It showcases the five musicians as a group and the result is powerfully seductive.

Magnarelli and Davis form a strong front line—punchy and tough on Magnarelli's "44" and John Handy's "In Walked Lila"; swinging on "You Go To My Head" and "Suddenly It's Spring." The rhythm section—pianist Anthony Wonsey, bassist Mike Karn and drummer Jason Brown—provides the expert support that ensures the lead players shine as brightly as they can. Brown is the driving force, Karn's cool and reliable, Wonsey is a master of comping. Even without Magnarelli or Davis the three men hold the attention, establishing a groove or a mood with ease—on their brief but cool intro to the leader's "Blue Key" for example, or during Karn's energetic solo on "Suddenly It's Spring."

Magnarelli takes on the leader's role with aplomb. His playing is consistently superb. On his own "Inner Beauty" he's controlled yet romantic, characteristics that also define Wonsey's solo: on John Coltrane's "Miles' Mode" his muted trumpet flies over Karn and Brown's rhythmic foundation, the whole tune full of exuberant joy. Jimmy Van Heusen's "Darn That Dream" starts as a trumpet/piano duet then adds bass and drums—from start to finish it's a graceful and lyrical reading of the old standard.

Lookin' Up! closes with a fiery rendition of "In Walked Lila" which gives each musician a chance to loosen up and let rip. Five masterful talents, ten great tunes, that's Lookin' Up!.

Track Listing: 44; Third Set; Inner Beauty; You Go To My Head; Blue Key; Easy Transition; Suddenly It's Spring; Miles' Mode; Darn That Dream; In Walked Lila.

Personnel: Joe Magnarelli: trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Davis: trombone; Anthony Wonsey: piano; Mike Karn: bass; Jason Brown: drums.

Title: Lookin' Up! | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Triplicate" CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Northern Adventures" CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Southern Avenue" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Avenue
by James Nadal
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "The Imperfect Sea" CD/LP/Track Review The Imperfect Sea
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.