Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers 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!

237

Neil Podgurski's New Fire: Revolutions

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
There's a lot of joy and quirky, off-center energy in pianist Neil Podgurski's playing; his style brings Bud Powell or Elmo Hope to mind. Podgurski is the leader of the group New Fire, and he is also the composer of all the tunes on the band's debut disc, Revolutions.

It's great to hear a debut that comes out of the gates blazing like this, full of confidence, with a distinctive modern sound anchored deep in the bop tradition. The opener, "Monoliths," features a sextet: trumpet (John Swana), tenor saxophone (Brian Settles) and trombone (Phil Yeager) in front of the rhythm section. The group dynamic is loose and spontaneous, and Podgurski solos with a solid, percussive left hand nailing down his free-flying Monkish right-hand explorations.

Six of the ten Podgurski-penned tunes are quartet outings with Brian Settles on tenor sax. His tone is raw, rough hewn, intense, fiery—a perfect foil for Podgurski's slightly warped percussive zest on tunes like "Blues for Your Heart," a manic up-tempo cooker; and on the more centered "Balance," where the leader's glowing comping behind Mike Boone's bass solo gives way to some extended and striking piano ruminations. Settles' tenor sax roars in then, sounding wounded, in a very articulate way.

Podgurski and New Fire are Philadelphia-based, and they've had a chance to develop their sound by playing regularly at Ortlieb's Jazzhaus. It's worked. This is a remarkably together group that takes a lot of chances—which pay off.

An excellent debut!

Track Listing: Monoliths; Blues for Your Heart; Balance; Sun and the Moon; Revolutions; Transient Beings; Conception; The Brightest Sign; Change; New Fire.

Personnel: Neil Podgurski: piano; Brian Settles: tenor saxophone; Mike Boon: bass;Doug Hirlinger: drums; John Swana: trumpet (1,4,8); Phil Yeager: trombone (1,4,6,8).

Title: Revolutions | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Dreambox Media

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Destinations" CD/LP/Track Review Destinations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Star Gazing" CD/LP/Track Review Star Gazing
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Then and Now" CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017