As much as I'm not usually attracted to New Orleans brass bands, I was quite diverted by this new entry. Although the Timucua Brass Band featuring Benoit Glaser's original brass band music is evidently an Orlando, Florida organization, it might as well be a local N'awlins ensemble.
Although the album starts out with a traditional original, "Jelly's Rhythm," which includes a gutbucket trombone solo, reasonably few of the other tracks display the same traditional feel. The musicians, and in particular the horns, begin showing bebop chops on the second title, "Mintz Balls," become full blown on later titles like "Nice and Warm" and "Da Blews," which could easily fall into a Horace Silver Quintet "Serenade To A Soul Sister"-type groove. On "Lonna Dee," there are even hints of West Coast jazz with a contrapuntal feel. Since there are multiple trumpeters, trombonists, alto and tenormen, I can't specify just who sounds so good, but it all seems to work.
In his liner notes, Glazer compares these eleven originals (which he has written and fully arranged) to a nouveau gumbo in which the music is "...where jazz meets funk, with a splash of bop, and a hint of modern harmonies...." Well, that is a pretty apt description, and if you've been on Bourbon Street, this is exactly the type of music that pours out the storefronts and jazz bars, defying categorization on the part of passers-by.
The only listeners who might be disappointed would be the trad jazz fans who feel that Timucua jettisons the retro feel early on.
Track Listing: Jelly's Rhythm, Mintz Balls, Lonna Dee, Monday Night, Elaku, Le Blues Gras, Da Blews, Nice And Warm, Slander, Let The Good Times Jelly Roll, Dowg.
Personnel: Benoit Glazer, Mike Iapichino, trumpets; Keith Oshiro, James Hosmer, trombones; Rex Wertz, alto sax; Dalton Hagler, Alain Bradette, tenor sax; Josh Parsons, sousaphone; Eddie Metz,Jr., drums; special guest Dan Martel, alto sax.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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