170

George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band: Merryteria

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist, bandleader George Gruntz names the various sections of his “Concert Jazz Band” after types of angels, as the liners allude to his personal sense of sanctification after all these years of performing and touring with an aggregate of jazz notables. With that and Gruntz’ seemingly cheerful persona, the title of his latest project - Merryteria once again conveys the bandleader’s bright outlook spoken through his contemporary and thoroughly hip arrangements!

Trombonist Dave Bargeron steers the band while imparting some hearty soloing on his rather jubilant composition titled “Mexicali”, where the musicians instill a sense of Latin celebration via rock solid rhythms and strong solos by trumpeter Scott Wendholt, tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, and others. Gruntz’ “Merryteria” boasts a bold and boisterous arrangement, offset by slightly dissonant choruses, punchy rhythms and a clever hook. Alto saxophonist and ex- Gil Evans’ band member Chris Hunter takes the helm and blows passionate, soulful lines on “Novgorod Bells”. Whereas, Donny McCaslin’s “2nd Line Story” features peppery, New Orleans style second line shuffle beats intermixed with rock/funk motifs as the horns accent the vivacious rhythms along with potent solos from trombonists Ray Anderson and Art Baron. Here, McCaslin puts matters into 5th gear with his husky toned tenor sax supplemented by a razor sharp and altogether fluid attack. The story line thus far equates to fun and excitement along with abundant soloing and the prolific horn charts.

George Gruntz’ shrewd sensibilities as an arranger come to the forefront on Merryteria. Throughout, Gruntz affords the soloists ample room to stretch their wares as the musicians build upon the often sprightly horn charts through cunning thematic invention, dynamics and sterling interplay that heightens the overall impact! Hence, Merryteria does indeed sustain an outward sense of merriment and also provides the listener with music that emanates from the heart yet might tend to prod one’s imagination while instilling a distinct sense of well-being............Recommended. * * * *

For personnel listings, contact information or to peruse the The Montreux Jazz Label catalogue, visit www.tcb.ch or email: info@tcb.ch * While visiting the website, Merryteria and other recordings by George Gruntz can be located on the “Red Label” listings.

| Record Label: TCB Music | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 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 "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Triangular III" CD/LP/Track Review Triangular III
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Bombogenic" CD/LP/Track Review Bombogenic
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute To Horace Parlan" CD/LP/Track Review My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute To Horace Parlan
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4" CD/LP/Track Review Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!