What reviewers have to say about
John McNeil: East Coast Cool (OmniTone 15211) [Printer-friendly version]
". . . McNeil’s
one-of-a-kind trumpet allure encircles
each piece with a personal stamp that speaks of freedom in jazz. . . . From
one pioneer to another, McNeil and crew honor
the memory of Gerry Mulligan with a fresh voice of their own. Each
selection brings a welcome surprise."
—Jim Santella, AllAboutJazz.com
"Mr. McNeil wants
to unlock the neat, airy, compressed feeling of the Mulligan quartet;
he wants to open it up to modern possibilities. And
he wants the music at least half planted on the ground. . . .
the wonder of the record is its breezy transparency. . . . And
Mr. Chase, filling Mulligan’s role, does the most to seal the record’s connection to what inspired
it: he plays with balance and authority . . . " —Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
". . . the
seasoned team of McNeil and Chase (who usually plays alto and
soprano) thrive on brisk contrapuntal exchanges and
bright, literate melodies. . . . McNeil,
a native of northern California, brings a cerebral
bounce to all his originals, playing with texture and time schemes without
compromising the music's infectious appeal."
—Lloyd Sachs, Chicago
doesn't mimic the sound of Baker's trumpet. He uses his own voice,
sometimes agitated and abstract, sometimes cool and
a warm, expressive sound on the baritone sax,
Allan Chase acts as McNeil's partner and foil. "
—Jon Andrews, Down
". . . one
of the most creative evocations of the sound of an
earlier jazz group — without
slavish imitation of that group — I've ever heard. . . . The
ensemble work has the light, jaunty, lyrical, often happy feeling
of Mulligan, and the solos stay in character with the tune being
played. . . . [Allan] Chase's
tone, nuances and taste are the Second Coming of Mulligan."
—Owen Cordle, Raleigh News & Observer
"Remember the pianoless quartet of Gerry
Mulligan and Chet Baker? Well, it's back! . . . a
clear sense of the spirit of cool. . . . In each of the 12 tracks
there is a different take on the slyness of cool, some emphasizing
rhythm, others emphasizing the harmonics, others emphasizing the
freeness from any structure at all. Being cool when there are no
standards, now that's cool."
—Chuck Graham, Tucson Citizen
". . . highlights the trumpeter's
burnished tone . . . Ornette Coleman's classic Atlantic group
might also be a valid point of comparison, particularly when it
comes to [Matt] Wilson's Blackwellesque dances. . . . an
—Jay Collins, Signal
"Temperature tags have long since fallen
out of fashion as codifiers for coastal jazz differences. But damn
if trumpeter John McNeil hasn’t struck pay dirt. . . . Repertoire
by rote it most certainly is not. McNeil accomplishes
a feat fewer of his colleagues seem willing to attempt — that
of recycling old bottles as worthy receptacles for new grappa." —Derek Taylor, Dusted magazine
". . . charting a new
and exciting musical terrain. . . . East,
west, north or south, this is cool."
—Tom Inek, Berman Music Foundation newsletter
". . . you're in the hands
of a highly skilled ensemble."
—Brian P Lonergan, All About Jazz: New York
- "With everything from the subdued to
the contemplative, McNeil washes you with his dense
waves of harmony & original
melodic lines which will evoke your interest by default. McNeil's
arrangements cleverly & subtly
employ diverse meter changes & interesting phrase
lengths to hold your fascination as well. . ." —George W Carroll, EJazzNews.com
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