All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1

Afro Bop Alliance Big Band: Revelation

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Revelation is the sixth recording by drummer Joe McCarthy's sixteen-year-old Afro Bop Alliance (the last three by the big band after three by smaller incarnations), the first that has come this way for review. As McCarthy's stalwart ensemble is based in the Washington, D.C. area, the supposition is that a number of topnotch armed services musicians may be onboard, an inference that proves correct with names such as Luis Hernandez, Vince Norman, Jim Roberts, Brian MacDonald, Matt Niess, Rich Sigler, Joe Jackson, Pete BarenBregge and Joseph Henson—not to mention McCarthy himself—enhancing the lineup. There may be others; those are merely the ones who surface at first glance.

Norman and McCarthy, co-leaders of their own straight-ahead large ensemble, co-wrote the fast-moving opener, "CuBop" (a salute to the band's original name), Hernandez the loping "Dialed In." There are two compositions by steel pan virtuoso Victor Provost, three by drummer / composer Roland Vazquez who conducts his themes, "No Rest for the Bones of the Dead," "Family of Four" and "Creencias." Provost chaperons a sharp and energetic rhythm section that includes (on various numbers) McCarthy, Roberts, pianist Harry Appelman, vibraphonist Ed Fast, percussionist Roberto Quintero , bassists Tom Baldwin or Oscar Stagnaro, conguero Samuel Torres, and Josanne Francis, Khandeya Sheppard and Adam Grise on the steel pans. Provost's piquant "Magharibi" and Caribbean-flavored "Soulfriere" complete the appetizing menu.

Needless to say, robust and persuasive rhythms are the driving force behind this Revelation, accentuated by brass and reeds with the whole resting on a shapely melodic framework. Yes, there are solos, most notably by Hernandez, Norman, McCarthy, Appelman, trumpeter Tim Stanley, flugel Alex Norris (featured on "Family of Four"), tenor Matt Stuver and trombonist Victor Baranco, but they are more or less eclipsed by the ensemble's rhythmic and harmonic primacy. That's not to say the solos are unrewarding; each one is astute and colorful, and each one comprises an essential part of the over-all tapestry. When sewn together, the various components merge impressively to produce a rich and handsome portrait of African-influenced Latin jazz with North American trimmings.

Track Listing: CuBop; No Rest for the Bones of the Dead; Magharibi; A Family of Four; Soulfriere; Dialed In; Creencias.

Personnel: Joe McCarthy: leader, drums, percussion; Roland Vazquez: conductor (2, 4, 7); Brian MacDonald: trumpet; Mark Wood: trumpet; Rich Sigler: trumpet; Chris Walker: trumpet (1, 3, 5, 6); Dan Orban: trumpet (1, 3, 5, 6); Tim Stanley: trumpet (1-3, 5-7); Alex Norris: flugelhorn (4); Vince Norman: alto, soprano sax; Bill Mulligan: alto sax, flute, piccolo (2, 4, 7); Pete Barenbregge: alto sax, flute (1, 3, 5, 6); Joseph Henson: tenor sax, flute (1, 3, 5, 6); Matt Stuver: tenor sax; Luis Hernandez: tenor sax; Darryl Brenzel: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Matt Niess: trombone; Rhoades Whitehill: trombone (1, 3, 5, 6); Joe Jackson: trombone (1, 3, 5, 6); Jeff Cortazzo: trombone (1, 3, 5, 6); Victor Baranco: trombone (2, 4, 7); Dave Perkel: trombone (2, 4, 7); Matt Neff: trombone (2, 4, 7); Harry Appelman: piano; Jim Roberts: guitar; Ed Fast: vibraphone (2, 4, 7); Tom Baldwin: bass (1, 3, 5, 6); Oscar Stagnaro: bass (2, 4, 7); Samuel Torres: congas (2, 4, 7); Robert Quintero: congas, percussion (1, 3, 5, 6); Victor Provost: steel pans lead; Josanne Francis: steel pans tenor; Khandeya Sheppard: steel pans double seconds; Adam Crise: steel pans cello.

Title: Revelation | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: OA2 Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait CD/LP/Track Review
Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Lost Days CD/LP/Track Review
Lost Days
by Don Phipps
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Cabin In The Sky CD/LP/Track Review
Cabin In The Sky
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Higher CD/LP/Track Review
Higher
by Jim Trageser
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Faroe CD/LP/Track Review
Faroe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2018
Read The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 15, 2018
Read "Avant-Garde Party Music" CD/LP/Track Review Avant-Garde Party Music
by John Sharpe
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Contrast" CD/LP/Track Review Contrast
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 1, 2018
Read "Oh My, Those Boys!" CD/LP/Track Review Oh My, Those Boys!
by John Sharpe
Published: May 29, 2018
Read "Faustian Pact" CD/LP/Track Review Faustian Pact
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 28, 2018
Read "Signal 9" CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Piano Works" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018