Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Mark McGrain: Love + Time + Divination

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
When Crescent City trombonist Mark McGrain first conceived of this album, it was a way to honor his parents by visiting some of their favorite songs from the '30s and '40s. In the end, he remained faithful to his core mission while broadening the repertoire to include far more than familiar glimpses of the past.

Love + Time + Divination, a drummer-less trio date enhanced with a few appearances from New Orleans vocal treasure John Boutté, contains three timeless classics that fit McGrain's original mandate. In that category there's a comfortably-paced NOLA stride take on "As Time Goes By" highlighting the duo rapport between a plunger-muted McGrain and pianist Matt Lemmler, an appropriately breezy "I Thought About You" with a charming Boutté out front, and an album-closing "I Can't Get Started" that opens on a grand trombone cadenza before settling in. Those known numbers provide a good indication of the sonic sensibility surrounding the whole project, offering a clear view of the way these musicians interact and jell. But they don't make for a full representation of what this album is all about. In order to understand that, the other tracks need to enter the equation.

Seven of the eight numbers that remain come from McGrain's pen, with each one touching on a different territory. "It All Comes Down To Love" plays as a vocal-centric paean to affection, "Blossom" flowers with bop-ish bravado, "3:27AM" juxtaposes contemplative ideals against a buoyant flow, and "Hola Brah" adds a dose of salsa sizzle to the mix. Further on, "Étreinte Bleu" offers a pensive picture, "Arise" swings straight down the middle, and the title track takes to the dance floor as a slow and sleek rhumba.

McGrain's arrangement of Pink Floyd's "On The Turning Away" proves to be the one outlier in this program mixing originals and older chestnuts, but it's a most welcome anomaly. Boutté's voice brilliantly bears the weight of the words, the music is careful to balance solemnity and hope, and what results is positively stirring, to say the least. To witness this catharsis and hear Love + Time + Divination in its entirety is to breathe deeply of New Orleans' life-affirming air.

Track Listing: As Time Goes By; It All Comes Down To Love; Blossom; 3:27AM; On The Turning Away; Hola Brah; I Thought About You; Étreinte Bleu; Arise; Love, Time, And Divination; I Can't Get Started,

Personnel: Mark McGrain: trombone; Matt Lemmler: piano; James Singleton: bass; John Boutté: vocals (2, 5, 7).

Title: Love + Time + Divination | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Immersion Records & Media

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Love + Time + Divination

Love + Time +...

Immersion Records & Media
2018

buy
 

Tin Fish Tango

Formed Records
2011

buy
 

Dancing on Thin Ice

Formed Records
2010

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read East Of The River Nile Album Reviews
East Of The River Nile
By Chris May
February 23, 2019
Read VOX Album Reviews
VOX
By Friedrich Kunzmann
February 23, 2019
Read live@ZKM Album Reviews
live@ZKM
By Bruce Lindsay
February 23, 2019
Read cinder: ember: ashes Album Reviews
cinder: ember: ashes
By Glenn Astarita
February 23, 2019
Read Amour Album Reviews
Amour
By Doug Collette
February 23, 2019
Read Friendly Signs Album Reviews
Friendly Signs
By Don Phipps
February 22, 2019
Read The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes Album Reviews
The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes
By Roger Farbey
February 22, 2019