368

Russell Gunn: Young Gunn Plus

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Recorded in 1994 when young lion Russell Gunn was a mere 23 years old, the Muse album Young Gunn is a quintet session with tenor saxophonist Sam Newsome, pianist John Hicks, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Cecil Brooks III. This 32 Jazz reissue adds three tracks with a different quintet. Coming from a background that like that of many younger jazz artists, Russell Gunn learned the trumpet in elementary school, enjoyed and benefited from public school instrumental programs, and allowed his musical interests to range far and wide. That he attended the same high school as Miles Davis shows up in Gunn's pretty ballad tone. His experience includes avant-garde work with Oliver Lake, Wynton Marsalis' Blood On The Fields, and Branford Marsalis' Buckshot LeFonque. A more recent recording, Gunn Fu on the High Note label, teams the trumpeter with tenor saxophonist Greg Tardy and flutist Sherman Irby.

The ballads "You Don't Know What Love Is," "There Is No Greater Love," and "Fly Me to the Moon" present straight-ahead mainstream jazz and feature Gunn's lyrical trumpet. "Pannonica," presented as a trumpet-piano duet, offers yet another opportunity to appreciate Gunn's sensitive trumpet tone and manner. The leader's compositions "East St. Louis" and "The Message" represent hard bop ideas with "outside" or avant-garde stretches. The quintet is tight and burns accordingly. "The Concept" invites guest rap artist Chef Word to relate the biographical tale of Russell Gunn's change in focus from everyone's music to jazz. The syncopated hip-hop lyrics include:

"Son of a gun.Old socks, new shoes,Feels kinda like the bluesWith the fat groove.Runnin' the bustos, crush fo's,Chef Word and Russ-o, go with all the gusto.He used to be your MC before we ever played a keister,Got the love as he evolved musically.Straight-ahead, see, as we swing."

Branford Marsalis replaces Sam Newsome on the final three tracks. Recorded in 1995, the additional pieces employ a different piano trio as well, but Gunn is in fine form. He and Marsalis present a fiery hard bop take of Jimmy Heath's "Ginger Bread Boy" that includes solos from all. Recommended.


Track Listing: East St. Louis; Fly Me To The Moon; Wade In The Water; D.J.; You Don't Know What Love Is; The Concept; The Message; There Is No Greater Love; Blue Gene; Pannonica; The Beeach; Bronwyn; Ginger Bread Boy.

| Record Label: 32 Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Solo Gemini" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Gemini
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Centreline Theory" CD/LP/Track Review Centreline Theory
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Recondita Armonia" CD/LP/Track Review Recondita Armonia
by Phillip Woolever
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "American Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review American Tunes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 1, 2016

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!