Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

3

Pete McCann: Range

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Wisconsin-born guitarist Pete McCann has been a mainstay in the New York City jazz scene for over 25 years, yet mysteriously continues to elude widespread recognition, despite his impressive virtuosity. McCann's enviably diverse skills are well-documented on the aptly titled Range, the fifth release issued under his name. Joined by alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher, keyboardist Henry Hey, bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Mark Ferber, McCann and company embark on an eclectic excursion exploring myriad genres, from straight-ahead and post-bop to avant-garde and jazz-rock fusion.

The session opens with "Kenny," a lilting, lyrical ode to the late trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, who McCann worked with back in '88. Similarly buoyant, "Rumble" cavorts with a Latinized gait, revealing a harmonic sophistication reminiscent of its dedicatee, the great altoist Lee Konitz. Elsewhere, the group demonstrates its post-bop chops on brisk swingers like "Realm" and "Dyad Changes," though one would hardly deduce the latter was inspired by Anton Webern's erudite serialism.

The majority of the date comprises a tasteful selection of creative mainstream jazz, although there are a few raw, fusion-oriented scorchers interspersed throughout the set. Careening along in odd time signatures, "Seventh Jar," "Mustard" and "Bridge Scandal" amplify the proceedings with angular themes that culminate in rousing choruses, inspiring a series of blistering metallic runs from the leader.

In contrast, the pastoral ballad "To The Mountains" demonstrates McCann's affinity for folksy Americana with airy Frisellian overtones, while "Numinous" ventures into darker territory, gradually unfolding as an impressionistic rubato tone poem. The closing acoustic number, "Mine Is Yours," features a similarly pliant rhythmic foundation, its rhapsodic minor-key melody delivered with compelling urgency.

Whether navigating quicksilver rhythm changes or introspective motifs, the quintet's congenial rapport lends the eclectic session a unified sensibility. McCann's dynamic fretwork complements O'Gallagher's recoiling cadences and Hey's kaleidoscopic filigrees in equal measure, while Clohesy and Ferber's ardent interplay fortifies the frontline. Living up to its title, Range makes a compelling case for McCann's manifold abilities, as a crack improviser, a noteworthy composer and a magnanimous bandleader.

Track Listing: Kenny; Seventh Jar; Realm; To The Mountains; Mustard; Dyad Changes; Numinous; Bridge Scandal; Rumble; Mine Is Yours.

Personnel: Pete McCann: electric and acoustic guitars; John O'Gallagher: alto saxophone; Henry Hey: piano, Rhodes and organ; Matt Clohesy: acoustic and electric bass; Mark Ferber: drums.

Title: Range | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Bekkenjordet" CD/LP/Track Review Bekkenjordet
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "The Last Sense To Leave Us – A Tribute To Pauline Oliveros" CD/LP/Track Review The Last Sense To Leave Us – A Tribute To Pauline...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Clean" CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Road to Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Western Edges" CD/LP/Track Review Western Edges
by John Sharpe
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "The Long Journey Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Journey Home
by James Nadal
Published: March 17, 2017

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!