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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael McNeill Trio: Flight

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On his second release as a leader Flight pianist Michael McNeill elegantly embellishes his own intricate compositions with bold spontaneity. He imbues the melodic elements of the album with subtle angularity and maintains a strong lyrical sense even while flirting with dissonance.The contemplative “Za," for instance, has a crystalline harmonic structure within which McNeill has carefully woven silent pauses that enhance its intimacy. His sparse chiming keys and drummer Phil Haynes' low rumble support bassist Ken Filiano's eloquent ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael McNeill Trio: Flight

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Michael McNeill and his trio (bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Phil Haynes) return after Passageways with the marvelous Flight. The first notes of “Placid Ruffled" indicate McNeill's classical background and compositional intent. The album is extremely well recorded, allowing, at least with headphones, for every overtone and their interactions to be heard clearly (especially in “Land"). This sound world envelopes the ear and prepares the way for music that lies between the purely abstract, tunes and sound paintings. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael McNeill Trio: Passageways

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The rhythm trio is a well-established and ubiquitous format in jazz. Its fluidity and flexibility allow for a wide range of expression from traditional to advanced with the majority of recordings being solidly in the mainstream. Pianist Michael McNeill's exhilarating and innovative debut recording Passageways pushes the harmonic boundaries of the ensemble into unique and intriguing territories.The classically trained Buffalo native leads his intimate group through five of his own originals that allow ample room for spontaneous creativity. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael McNeill Trio: Passageways

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Michael McNeill's debut as a leader introduces a fresh perspective to the popular piano trio format. His compositions don't progress in a linear manner, nor do they strive to settle on time-tested harmonic or rhythmic structures; instead, they insistently explore the sonic possibilities within the immediate, fragile and equal interplay that the Buffalo, NY-based pianist-composer has with his improvisation-experienced trio mates, double bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Phil Haynes. McNeill has a mature, personal voice, developed through ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Michael McNeill

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Meet Michael McNeill: Michael McNeill has become an integral part of Buffalo, NY's thriving jazz and improvised music scene, performing with bands led by Kelly Bucheger and Ravi Padmanabha, and co-leading a quartet with John Bacon. He's also collaborated with trumpet legend Paul Smoker on projects of standards and of original compositions. McNeill also performs with and composes for the New Buffalo Jazz Octet, which the Buffalo News has called “a veritable who's who list of killer regional ...