1

Lin Rountree: Serendipitous

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
When a musician goes into the studio the opportunity always exists for something special to come out. They can really go for it and go in a bold, fresh, new direction and see if something innovative and exciting is the result.

Or they can just make the doughnuts. Serendipitous is the sound of Detroit-based trumpeter Lin Rountree making doughnuts.

The problem is Nate Harasim's pedestrian production and arrangements which are stock and unimaginative. Rountree is a competent trumpeter, but based on his playing here he's not an inspired one. He shows up, puts the horn to his lips, blows and...nothing much happens. It's not really bad, but it's not really good either. Mostly it's just a shoulder shrug and a "meh."

What sinks Serendiptous into mediocrity is how Rountree never aspires to more than innocuous riffs and bland noodling that tip-toes right up the edge of going somewhere interesting, but nope—it's just a tease. Rountree and Darryl Dixon's guitar gets some nice interplay going on "We Chill" but before it can build to anything it dribbles away to nothing as the song fades out at 3:45. The same thing happens on the title track, "Serendiptous" as a nice piano solo by Harasim fades away into the ether as the tune crosses the four minute mark.

Playing long isn't the same thing as playing good, but there's a point where the refusal to let the musicians stretch a bit makes it look, for all appearances, like they're punching a time clock. Above all else, jazz should be about breaking boundaries and going beyond expectations. It's not as though Rountree isn't capable of it as the one-two punch of "Gutter Funk" and "Have Some" make clear he can get down with the best of them, but there's simply not enough interesting moments here to balance out the uninteresting ones.

Rountree is signed to CutMore Records, the developmental label of Trippin' n' Rhythm records which is a good move because at present Rountree isn't quite ready for the spotlight. On his website's bio page, Rountree counts Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis among his influences, but it's hard to find any trace of any of them on Serendipitous which only merits an indifferent "So what?"

Track Listing: We Chill, Serendiptious, In the Day, Gutter Funk, Have Some, Dance With Me, Why So, Let It Groove, Eyes On You, Get Down, Takin' It Slow

Personnel: Lin Routree: trumpet; Darryl Dixon: guitar (1, 2, 4, 8); Matt Godina: guitar (1, 6, 7, 10, 11); Kenny "Mac" Martin: bass (2, 8, 10); Nate Harasim: piano (2), guitar (2, 5, 6, 10, 11); Althea Rene: flutes (3); Sharay Reed: bass (4); Richard Gibbs: organ (4); Randy Scott: saxophones (4); Anna Stevenson: vocals (6); Oso E. Vasquez: bass (7); Dana Davis: drums (8); Darren Rahn: saxophones (10)

Title: Serendipitous | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Trippin n Rhythm Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "#knowingishalfthebattle" CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "No Favorites!" CD/LP/Track Review No Favorites!
by Troy Collins
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "A Piece of the Apple" CD/LP/Track Review A Piece of the Apple
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "You Already Know" CD/LP/Track Review You Already Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 7, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.