Northeasterners; trumpeter John Allmark, woodwinds ace Dan Moretti and trombonist John Wheeler recently reunited to record their inaugural release. Hence, no underlying agendas here, as the band pursues a ”Tower of Power” style funk-groove chart on the opener “From the One”, which is all about 70’s style, tightly coordinated unison horn arrangements atop crisp beats and radiant soloing, amid keyboardist Ben Cook’s judicious injections of harpsichord and Fender Rhodes-based motifs.
The ensemble renders blaring, reverb-laden horns for the intro of the Afro-Cuban tinged, “Have You Met Miss Jones.” With this piece, the band toggles between Latin rhythms and straightforward medium tempo swing vamps as the soloists’ offer varying perspectives via multicolored tonal shadings in conjunction with drummer Vinnie Pagano and bassist Bill Miele’s booming patterns and shifting currents. Meanwhile, the musicians’ straightforward yet atmospheric rendition of the always-delightful standard, “People Make The World Go Round” offsets some of the bold, brash pieces, also featuring Bruce Bartlett’s beefy electric guitar work. Sure, the band’s palate does not suggest anything in the way of a groundbreaking musical revolution, yet - The Psychic Horns’ - refreshing approach and nicely orchestrated arrangements speak volumes. Recommended.
Personnel: John Allmark; trumpet: Dan Moretti; woodwinds: John Wheeler; trombone: Ben Cook; keyboards: Bruce Bartlett; guitar: Vinny Pagano or Marty Richards; drums: Guest artist: Bob Bowlby; baritone sax.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.