by Jim Santella
It's an odd title for a superb album. The compositions are Neal Caine's, and he leads with a powerful rhythmic stroke from behind his big double bass. Two tenors, Ned Goold and Stephen Riley, give him plenty of lyrical matter, playing it soft and whispery as Caine's quartet emphasizes straight-ahead jazz with a comfortable grasp of its traditional flavors. Jason Marsalis surrounds the session with appropriate percussive textures.
W.M.D." provides a dramatic impression, both mysterious and exotic. Caine ...read more
by Eric J. Iannelli
Its title sounds more likely to appear in the heavy metal section of the record store, but sonically Neal Caine's Backstabber's Ball has far more in common with the classic West Coast cool jazz releases of the early '60s than the identikit angst rock of today. As such, it isn't a departure for Smalls Records; rather, it's largely in keeping with the bulk of the label's output. The young New York-based label is fast becoming a favorite among the more ...read more