Social Media has spewed forth a cornucopia of emoticons, symbols, and catchphrases that have Twittered their way into Webster's. The title of trumpeter/composer/arranger Tyler Mire's (pronounced "Meer") latest effort -"#Office for the Day" -is one example of a phrase that's particularly loved by musicians. However, there's nothing common or over-washed out about this latest fine effort from Mire and Team.
Before his hitching up and joining the U.S. Navy's elite "Commodores," Mire pulled together a group of Nashville's finest cats to deliver a last civilian album of pure listening enjoyment. It's a superior send-off album on many levels. The playing here is tight, swinging and as satisfying as a Grand Ol' Bopry. Mire's arrangementshe's among the best young ones out there todayare filled with taste, subtlety and enough complexity -and even sly humorto challenge this or any team. He surrounds himself with heavyweights and spurs them on in every musical regard.
Touching all of the groove bases, Mire's crew opens with a Habanera-hot opener, "Spice of Life" that immediately demos the band's hefty biceps. "The Arch" is darker-textured a la Pat Metheny in which Mire's crew and his arranging chops shine. "Elephant in Room" gives us trombone pachyderms stampeding wildly over a "Cherokee" trail. The title cut is a "Rhythm" variant that drives up-tempo mercilessly. "The Lonely Crouton's Big Day in NYC" is classically Count Basie-Sammy Nesticolike, featuring a tasty sax section soli, "verdant" strumming and All-Aces ensemble work. "Magma Sanctum" is a feverish jungle of time and texture featuring pianist, Matt Endahl. "Blues in Green" is a dramatic, noir-ish showcase for the eponymous trombonist, Barry. "Domo Meets the Brunch King" offers a "tenor tussle" between Evan Cobb and Doug Moffet in a frantic chaser/closer.
The ensemble playing on all eight cuts is in-the-pocket, swinging in a classic style. Lead trumpet Steve Patrick, drummer Joshua Hunt and the rhythm section are hand-glove throughout. The ensemblewhich amazingly, covered all eight charts in one sessionhad a ball at their office that day, for sure. They are a swinging, tight-knit bunch that sent Mire off with a bon voyage bang. A generous leader and slick orchestrator vis a vis assigning solos, Mire's team offers ace soloists throughout. No phone-ins here. All are cookers.
While this effort is not as edgy as some of his earlier material"Into the Atmosph-mire" and "Movin' Day," for example, Mire easily demos once again that he's an experience to be hadone with intellect, vast talents and, as such, one with whom to be reckoned. All things considered, "#Office for the Day" is certainly worthy of a fistful of those Navy blue thumbs up thingies -whatever they're called.
Track Listing: Spice of Life; The Arch; Elephant in the Room; #Office for the Day; The Lonely Crouton's Big Day in NYC; Magma Sanctum; Green and Blues; Domo Meets the Bruch King.
Personnel: Jimmy Bowland: alto sax, clarinet; Robby Shankle: Alto sax, clarinet, alto flute, flute; Evan Cobb: tenor sax, clarinet; Doug Moffet: tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Kelsey Mire: baritone sax, bass clarinet, flute; Trumpets: Steve Patrick (lead); Mike Haynes, Andrew Golden (Track 1), Jim Williamson; Keith Smith; Trombones: Roger Bissell (all, lead Tracks 3-8), Roy Agee (all, lead Tracks 1-2); Oscar Utterstrom (all, tenor: Tracks 1-6, 8, bass: 7), Barry Green (all, tenor Tracks 3 and 7, bass: 1-2, 4-6, 8); Lindsay Miller: guitar; Matt Endahl: piano; Joe Davidian: upright and electric bass, Joshua hunt: drums and percussion.
There is a freedom and a sense of exhilaration in Jazz that is not found in any other music. Jazz is about finding freedom and a personal voice within a structure, and that is what
appeals to me most. I had a late start in jazz.
I was first exposed to jazz without any formal training by watching videos of Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk in my 20's.
Later, I met Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Martial Solal, Bernard Maury, Fred Hersh, Barry Harris, among many other musicians over the years.
The first jazz record I
bought was Keith Jarrett, The Melody at Night, with You and it is still one of the solo piano masterpiece in my view.
My advice to new listeners... Just enjoy it!
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