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...

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

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

Album Reviews
  • Neon by Glenn Astarita
  • Neon by Matthew Warnock
Read more articles
Neon

Neon

Whaling City Sound
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read These Wicked Things Album Reviews
These Wicked Things
By Mark Sullivan
March 26, 2019
Read The Silent Wish Album Reviews
The Silent Wish
By Don Phipps
March 26, 2019
Read Day After Day Album Reviews
Day After Day
By Mark Corroto
March 26, 2019
Read Gnomes and Badgers Album Reviews
Gnomes and Badgers
By Doug Collette
March 26, 2019
Read Chris Trinidad's Chant Triptych II Album Reviews
Chris Trinidad's Chant Triptych II
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 26, 2019
Read Our Story Album Reviews
Our Story
By Troy Dostert
March 25, 2019
Read Influences Album Reviews
Influences
By Don Phipps
March 25, 2019