172

Neal Miner: The Evening Sound

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Neal Miner: The Evening Sound Blurred by the multi-cultural, cross-genre jazz of today's global era, the sounds of specific geographical regions have become less prevalent on contemporary recordings. Neal Miner's The Evening Sound is an exception. Born and raised in Manhattan, and a fixture on the Big Apple jazz scene, the prominent bassist/composer has produced a disc of all-original material that is undeniably one-hundred percent New York. Inspired by the various facets of life in the city and conceived during years of sessions at the infamous Smalls jazz club, Miner's music is robust and highly swinging in convincing New York fashion.

While the overall focus of the disc is on the ensemble, Miner does allow himself ample room to showcase his gutsy, yet logical soloing style. With a heavy, rounded bass tone, Miner punctuates his notes with inflated buoyancy, moving the music forward, whether walking or soloing, at a relentless pace. The bassist displays an adept knowledge of the rich lineage of his instrument; the influence of Paul Chambers, Sam Jones and other bottom end innovators is quite evident.

Like his playing, Miner's writing pays strict adherence to tradition. His tunes pay a debt of gratitude to master jazz composers such as Horace Silver, Tadd Dameron and Duke Pearson. Arranged for a classic sextet sound of tenor sax, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and drums, this straight-ahead collection of hard-swinging originals comes right out of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers tradition.

The standout tracks are "Night Owls, a clever bass and trombone feature written over the chord changes to the standard "Lullaby of the Leaves ; the contemplative, trumpet-led ballad "Willomere, dedicated to Miner's father with lush sectional writing and a colorful piano solo by Steve Ash; and "Blues For Red and Brown, Miner's bluesy tribute to his heroes Red Mitchell and Ray Brown.

The front line of the ensemble—trombonist John Mosca, tenor saxophonist/flutist Chris Byars (who handles arranging duties) and trumpeter Richie Vital—works well as a cohesive unit to breath life into Miner's music. Each is an inspired soloist with an overall mastery of the hard-bop language. Ash and drummer Tom Melito make the perfect rhythm section match for Miner's hard driving style.

The high level of musicianship and friendly interplay on The Evening Sound makes for a relaxed set of memorable, clever jazz that swings along comfortably, calling out for repeated listening.


Track Listing: A Clever Air; Contemplations; The Evening Sound; Coffee Shop; Shades of Blue; Night Owls; Urban Lights; Willowmere; Black Beans; Blues For Red and Brown.

Personnel: Chris Byars: tenor sax, flute; Richie Vitale: trumpet; John Mosca: trombone; Steve Ash: piano; Neal Miner: bass; Tom Melito: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Smalls Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Oratorios and Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Oratorios and Songs
by John Eyles
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Strunkin'" CD/LP/Track Review Strunkin'
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey
by James Nadal
Published: May 16, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Shovel Down" CD/LP/Track Review Shovel Down
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Ullr" CD/LP/Track Review Ullr
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 8, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!