Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

3

Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters: Urban Nightingale

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Chad McCullough, with one CD under his own name—the outstanding Dark Wood, Dark Water (Origin Records, 2009)—has also contributed his distinctive voice to recordings by the Kora Band and Tunnel Six, all under the Origin Records banners. But the Seattle-based trumpeter must have a European sensibility; his finest work to date has been in teaming, as co-leader, with artists from the other side of the Atlantic—Slavakian pianist Michal Vanoucek, on The Sky Cries (Origin Records, 2010), and Antwerp-based pianist Bram Weijters, on Imaginary Sketches (Origin Records, 2011), and now, again with Weijters, on what could be a breakout effort for both players, Urban Nightingale.

Recordings that are tagged "breakouts" aren't necessarily way better than the efforts that preceded them. It's more a matter of the output reaching a critical mass of sustained excellence that pushes the music to a level where it gains greater notice. A re-visitation of McCullough's previous CDs as leader or co-leader reveals a well-developed artist who is smart enough to pick great sidemen starting out with his Dark Wood, Dark Water debut. He is a rare instrumentalist who makes each note sound as if it were imbued with a deeper meaning. Certainly a player with great chops, his approach—especially on his two teamings with Weijters—is one that is a measured and deliberate, often introspective, sometimes gorgeously melancholic, and one that employs a continuity of mood and atmosphere that the best recordings have.

That said, Weijters is, perhaps, more responsible for the concepts of their two CDs together. His is the dominant songwriting voice, having penned five tunes to McCullough's two on Imaginary Sketches and seven tunes to McCullough's two on Urban Nightingale. His piano playing has a distinctively searching quality, and he has added to his arsenal (or at least brought it into play since Imaginary Sketches) the Fender Rhodes, which he uses to give some of the tunes a gritty, urban atmosphere.

Inside the sound is the perfect, understated bass pulse of Piet Verbist and subtle percussive intricacies of drummer John Bishop the super sideman in the drum chair for Origin Records, also the label's honcho, and one of the finest CD cover art designers in jazz, rounding out the quartet on an outstanding set of sounds.

Track Listing: Nightingale; Residu; Freezing; Love Song; Flow; Tired and Dizzy; Buildings in a Dark City; Phrygian; Downtime.

Personnel: Chad McCullogh: trumpet, flugelhorn; Bram Weijters: piano, Fender Rhodes; Piet Verbist: bass; John Bishop: drums.

Title: Urban Nightingale | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Origin Classical

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "La Diversité" CD/LP/Track Review La Diversité
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik" CD/LP/Track Review Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Two in a Box" CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Secret Language" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017