John McNeil: EAST COAST COOL What reviewers have to say about
John McNeil: East Coast Cool (OmniTone 15211)    [Printer-friendly version]

AllAboutJazz.com · All About Jazz: New York · Berman Music Foundation newsletter · Tucson Citizen · Down Beat · Dusted Magazine · EJazzNews.com · Raleigh News & Observer · The New York Times· Signal to Noise· Chicago Sun-Times
  • ". . . 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

  • 3 1/2 [out of 4] stars". . . 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 Sun-Times

  • 3 [out of 5] stars"McNeil doesn't mimic the sound of Baker's trumpet.  He uses his own voice, sometimes agitated and abstract, sometimes cool and introspective.  With a warm, expressive sound on the baritone sax, Allan Chase acts as McNeil's partner and foil. " —Jon Andrews, Down Beat

  • 4 [out of 5] stars". . . 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 outstanding accomplishment."  —Jay Collins, Signal to Noise

  • "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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