Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers 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!

265

Mike Clinco: Neon

Matthew Warnock By

Sign in to view read count
Neon is an engaging modern jazz album that showcases the diverse background and compositional approaches of Mike Clinco and his ensemble. While this record will fall into the category of modern jazz, the music on Neon draws from blues, rock, Latin and bebop as much as does from the post-bop idiom. In the hands of lesser musicians, blending these different styles might sound convoluted or incoherent, but Clinco and his quintet rise to the challenge and are able to bring out the subtleties of these genres while maintaining a unified ensemble sound throughout.

All of the tunes, with the exception of one—Henry Mancini's "Charade," with whom Clinco toured for 14 years—were written and arranged by the highly-experienced Clinco. The material is thoughtfully arranged and never sounds like merely head charts, or vehicles to showcase the improvisational prowess of the band. Tunes like the opening "Bookends" and "Amalgam" contain some wonderful harmony lines between the guitar and horns during the melody sections, not to mention memorable solos by Clinco and saxophonist Bob Sheppard. One of the album's highlights comes with "X-Cue Says," where Clinco breaks out his distortion pedal, which not only adds a new level of texture to his guitar, but also provides inspiration for memorable solos by Sheppard and drummer Jimmy Branly.

Clinco's playing is solid throughout as both a soloist and accompanist. Hardly a tune, or sometimes a section of a tune, goes by without Clinco changing the tone or texture of the guitar in both the lead and/or comping. These changes of texture are furthered by his use of both electric and nylon string guitars. Clinco's haunting intro to "Charade" is a fine example of his nylon playing. Here, through the use of overdubbing, Clinco plays both the melody/solo and chords on his nylon string. While many times the overdubbing of two guitars can sound forced or uncreative, Clinco manages to convincingly portray the sound of two guitars without drawing attention to the fact that he is playing both.

Neon is an album as diverse as the musicians who recorded it. It highlights the variety of backgrounds that Clinco draws from in his playing and writing, as well as the world-class ensemble that he has chosen. Not a fully composed work, nor a blowing album, Neon is a welcomed mixture of composition and improvisation.

Track Listing: Bookends; Sonship; Neon; X Cue Says; Daystream; Amalgam; Beaten Paths; Charade; The Rest Will Follow.

Personnel: Mike Clinco: guitar; Bob Sheppard: woodwinds; Walt Fowler: flugelhorn; Darek Oleszkiewicz: acoustic bass; Jimmy Johnson: electric bass; Jimmy Branly: drums, percussion.

Title: Neon | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Neon by Glenn Astarita
  • Neon by Matthew Warnock
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Danza Imposible" CD/LP/Track Review Danza Imposible
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "The Conscience" CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Through The Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Chrome" CD/LP/Track Review Chrome
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 11, 2017