109

The Jim Cifelli New York Nonet: Tunnel Vision

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Arranging for nonet is a lot like arranging for big band. You’ve got all the elements, but you miss out on the doubling. Instead of power and some anonymous hard blowing, you get a balanced approach that swings lightly and caresses each melody. Jim Cifelli’s nonet arrangements are patterned after those of big band leaders Gil Evans, Thad Jones and Oliver Nelson. Every voice matters. The keenly crafted charts allow you to understand what the alto flute is doing while the tenor saxophone and trombone hold court. Cifelli’s handpicked line-up has been together for a considerable time. Each artist fits his contribution into the whole sound properly. The result is almost too clean.

However, by featuring improvised solos throughout, Cifelli achieves the goal of every bandleader: get it right, but let it swing. Both individual and ensemble positions fare well. The leader takes frequent solos, as do tenor saxophone, guitar, trombone, alto sax, baritone sax, drums, and upright bass. Cifelli’s title track seems to inherit the impressions of driving in New York without getting all wrapped up in rush hour traffic. Like “Milestones,” the piece takes you on a long drive past cool landscapes over hot pavement. Solos from Cifelli, Lyons, Frahm and Horner pass the baton from one to the next. The end of the tunnel looms ahead, however, and each soloist trades fours in encouragement. They reach their destination as the sun sets, and Cifelli offers a solemn “Prayer” with pure, baroque harmonic support from his nonet. Highly recommended. Check out audio samples at www.jazznonet.com .


Track Listing: Go, Something She Said, Fe Fi Fo Fum/Speak No Evil,Cajun Conniption, Cambia de Corazone, What is This Thing Called Love, Tunnel Vision, Prayer

Personnel: Andy Gravish, Jim Cifelli, trumpets; Pete McGuiness, trombone; Cliff Lyons, alto and soprano saxes; Joel Frahm, tenor sax; Barbara Cifelli, reeds; Peter McCann, guitar; Mary Ann McSweeney, bass, Tim Horner, drums

Title: Tunnel Vision | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Short Notice Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "History Of The Lisbon Chaplaincy" CD/LP/Track Review History Of The Lisbon Chaplaincy
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Birdhoused" CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "My Head Is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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