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!

466

Megaphone Man- Neal Fountain, B Lopes, Reilly: Megaphone Man

Phil DiPietro By

Sign in to view read count
This is a 5 track EP (plus a "secret" 6th one ..total running time about 45 mins.) by a punk/funk jazz trio , which captures the intensity and the humor of the players, while highlighting their virtuosity both as soloists and collaborative songwriting partners. This group is led by bassist Neal Fountain (ex-Fiji Mariner, ex-member of the Apartment Projects with Jeff Sipe (aka Apartment Q258, ex-ARU, ex-Hellborg, Lane Sipe trio, current member of Jazz is Dead and LoS) . Here Neal goes further afield of his previous independent release [ Sun's Anvil, Glossolalia] eschewing all other harmonic support in a whack power trio bravely consisting of his bass, Bryan Lopes' sax and Jeff Reilly's drums. There is scintillating, expansive basswork and instrumental interplay throughout.

To mention some obvious influences, Neal's playing most evokes the influence of Oteil Burbridge and Charlie Hunter and replaces most of the modern-day, technique-driven bass flambooselry like tapping and slapping with sophisticated harmonic and rhythmic playing, including all of the ensemble's chordal work. Interestingly, the sax lays out on every tune here, and when it does, this seemingly ill-conceived concept still works. Mr. Fountain makes sure to outline the harmony while soloing and when the drums have occasion to drop out as well, Fountain proves it's possible to take over the rhythm while outlining the harmony and not letting us forget the song . That's key here, as Fountain's jawdropping skills never forsake the groove or the tune.

The tunes here are notable in that they build motifically while shifting styles, say from N'awleans funk to reggae, within the space of each. Melodies will often start sparingly and grow more complex, along with the groove. Neal incorporates a device heretofore used by only one other electric guitarist that I know of, Charlie Hunter, to add some "oomph," or thickness, to the mix; he makes his bass sound like a Hammond B-3! This sounds fantastic under the sax melodies and/or solos, and is used to great effect with full chords, double-stops and etude-like combinations of single note lines and chords. Often chords are arpeggiated and become doubled on sax, which is used as a device to shift gears or morph the tunes. Oh yeah, the whole record is punctuated by applause; because it's live— with no Overdubs! The last cut is followed by a ten minute "special secret cut" which has "live-er" recorded quality, but finds the trio at their freewheelingest.

Neal and band toss this stuff off with an improvisatory elan that reminds me most of, Hunter's trio with Dave or John Ellis operating at its finest than any "basscentric" recordings. This one should be a favorite of fans of what I would call "looser" jazz ensembles in the new tradition of Hunter, MMW, TJ Kirk et.al.


Track Listing: Razor Egg Hunt; Reoccurring Nightmare; Fat Gambling Liar; Miles Of Rust; Bubble Hat

Personnel: Neal Fountain-bass; Bryan Lopes-saxophone; Jeff Reilly-drums

Title: Megaphone Man | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Blue Canoe Records


Tags

Related Video

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 "Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin" CD/LP/Track Review Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin
by Doug Collette
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Heartscape" CD/LP/Track Review Heartscape
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "Heavy Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Duets" CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Piteşti" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Piteşti
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Gentle Giants" CD/LP/Track Review Gentle Giants
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 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