Composer / arranger Myles Wright deserves full credit for truth in advertising, as The LA EP is precisely thatan abbreviated CD with three selections whose playing time is roughly twenty-four minutes. On the other hand, Wright doubles the listener's pleasure by including with the album a well-produced Blu-Ray DVD (in black and white) so one can see as well as hear wright's ensemble scrimmaging in the studio, which is always a pleasure.
In spite of the CD / DVD's brevity, it's hard to find fault with the music. Wright is a splendid writer and arranger who knows how to use evocative rhythmic and harmonic patterns to good advantage, and his twenty-three member orchestra embodies many of the Los Angeles area's foremost sidemen (and women, who make up one-half of the four-piece French horn section). The selections are "Corridors," an atmospheric exercise for ensemble (and tenor saxophonist Bob Sheppard) taken at medium tempo; "Choose Your Own Adventure," a minor-key romp whose resourceful solos are by alto Dan Higgins, pianist Alan Steinberger, trombonist Alex Iles and guitarist Andrew Synoweic, and "Because You Can," the most plain-spoken of the three, a perky flag-waver showcasing the stellar improvisational talents of Iles, trumpeter Bob Summers, tenor Jeff Driskill and drummer Harvey Mason Sr.
Never one to let the grass grow under his feet, Wright has taught composition and arranging in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and currently teaches Music Appreciation and Music in Theatre at the University of Notre Dame (Fremantle) in Australia, having taught similar courses from 2007-2011 at the University of Western Australia. Is Wright a native Australian? His bio doesn't say, only that he was born (somewhere) in 1978. No matter; music is an all-encompassing language, and Wright seems as comfortable leading a band in Los Angeles as anywhere else. The LA EP presents Wright and the ensemble at their best, which is very good indeed. Were there more music there's little doubt there would be more stars.
Track Listing: Corridors; Choose Your Own Adventure; Because You Can.
Personnel: Myles Wright: leader, composer, arranger; Dan Fornero: trumpet; Rob Schaer: trumpet; Jeff Bunnell: trumpet; Bob Summers: trumpet; Dan Higgins: alto sax, flute, clarinet; Sal Lozano: alto sax, flute, clarinet; Bob Sheppard: tenor sax, clarinet; Jeff Driskill: tenor sax, clarinet; Jay Mason: baritone sax, flute; Alex Iles: trombone; Ryan Dragon: trombone; Charlie Morillas: trombone; Craig Gosnell: bass trombone; Teag Reaves: French horn; Laura Brenes: French horn; Dylan Hart: French Horn; Katie Faraudo: French horn; Doug Tornquist: tuba; Alan Steinberger: piano; Andrew Synoweic: guitar; Rick Shaw: bass; Harvey Mason Sr: drums; Wade Culbreath: percussion.
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