All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

338

Tucker Rountree Sound: No Goodbyes

By

Sign in to view read count
With a bassist still in his teens and a group leader that doesn't look much older, it would be easy to dismiss the Austin, Texas-based Tucker Rountree Sound as a collection of feisty youngsters venturing out of their depth by cutting a full-length record. But the Sound's new album, No Goodbyes, exhibits as much maturity as puerility throughout its ably-performed set of eight originals written by group leader and guitarist Tucker Rountree.

"Vista" has a sweet melodic head that recalls the open, lyrical ECM sound. Guest trumpeter Marcus Graf plays the melody and makes it sing before launching into a swinging solo. When Rountree gets his turn, he displays a warm tone, sureness of touch, and an approach that crosses Eric Johnson with John McLaughlin. Upright bassist Daniel Durham also delivers a fine solo, and drummer Jason Friedrich is outstanding throughout with his sensitive use of dynamics and timbre.

The title track, "No Goodbyes," features guest pianist Andy Dollerson, who helps turn the cut into a highlight. The tune begins with every instrument hammering upon a syncopated chord until a pretty melody emerges. After a mellow Rountree solo, Dollerson ups the ante by steadily increasing the intensity of his own solo as Rountree comps underneath with fun rhythmic hiccups and a creative harmonization of the main theme. When the opening riff returns, Dollerson, Durham, and Friedrich pound out a brutally sensuous wash of sound that draws gritty guitar lines out of Rountree.

Problems emerge when the core trio of Rountree, Durham, and Friedrich plays by itself. "Telesa Joy" is dull in composition and execution. Another instrument would have removed the monotonous texture. "C# to Be" and "October Again" suffer from an affliction that affects many young musicians—they confuse inspiration with imitation. These two cuts would seamlessly fit on any record by fellow Texan Eric Johnson. Nevertheless, they also feature sharp writing and soloing—engaging Rountree and Durham solos, for example, raise "October Again" out of the silt of apery.

The strongest indication of the group's potential is "Premonition," where a smooth, straightforward melody unfolds before being suddenly interrupted by a change in rhythm and dynamics. Group interplay is at its peak here as the trio and Dollerson collectively rise and fall like the tide under hot solos by Rountree and the pianist. Friedrich's drumming continues to be exemplary.

In the end, No Goodbyes is an enjoyable listen that proves the Tucker Rountree Sound can play and write. These players' flaws, mostly products of their relative youth, do not diminish their achievements, instead bringing their potential for growth into sharper relief.


Title: No Goodbyes | Year Released: 2005

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "My Singing Fingers" CD/LP/Track Review My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Solid Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Ain't Who I Was" CD/LP/Track Review Ain't Who I Was
by Doug Collette
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Greatest Hits Live" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Hits Live
by Doug Collette
Published: September 2, 2017