248

Todd Coolman: Perfect Strangers

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Todd Coolman: Perfect Strangers A little bit of imagination is a good thing. Bassist Todd Coolman thought "outside the box" and came up with the idea of soliciting compositions from the public. He chose seven tunes which make up the program for the aptly titled Perfect Strangers. Hopefully, the voices that are heard here through Coolman, Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone), Brian Lynch (trumpet), Jim McNeely (piano) and John Riley (drums) will not remain strangers, and will continue to find avenues of expression for their music.

The music that Coolman chose travels mostly in the mainstream, but there are some which navigate away and offer more challenging waters. The bassist adds arrangements that give the music a striking body and allows the musicians a chance to stretch out and vent their imaginations and creativity.

"Crescent City Ditty" is a swinging kick-off. The music sits in that terrain consistently, with Lynch cutting loose with the first salvo through pithy phrases. Alexander is muscular on the tenor but still has the undercurrent of the rhythm flowing nicely. The horn men stand in fine contrast as they sandwich the liquid flow of McNeely. The rhythm section rounds it off with their nubile playing.

The opener has a pleasant sense of melody and development which the band essays neatly, but "C Minor Waltz" brings in a more sedate atmosphere. This laid back approach has a dark atmosphere that Coolman turns into an invitation with his arrangement. After he has laid down the path on the bass, he opens it up for McNeely who finds a quiet sparkle while Lynch and Alexander add a dark touch. All blend well to give the tune an unusual countenance.

The ballad "Pastorale" is a fine closing tune. It's an impressive piece—the empathy of the band bringing out the inherent beauty of the tune. It's a consummate underlining to music that calls for attention.

Coolman introduces perfect strangers with warmth, wit and commitment turning the music into an impressive body.


Track Listing: Crescent City Ditty; Full Circle; Connotation; Could You Imagine?; C Minor Waltz; Caribbean Sunset; Pastorale.

Personnel: Todd Coolman: bass; Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone; Brian Lynch: trumpet; Jim McNeely: piano; John Riley: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ArtistShare | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read "As If By Magic" CD/LP/Track Review As If By Magic
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "San José Suite" CD/LP/Track Review San José Suite
by Nigel Campbell
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Sinking Houseboat Confusion" CD/LP/Track Review Sinking Houseboat Confusion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!