Cover image: SLEEP WON'T COME

Reviews of John McNeil: Sleep Won't Come (OmniTone 15208)

All About Jazz-New York · · Berman Music Foundation Newsletter · Cadence · · The New York Times · Small Times
  • ". . . a haunting album . . ." —Nate Chinen, The New York Times
  • ". . . passages of intense freedom and effortless propulsion mark the improvisations . . . McNeil's phrasing is certain and bright, edgy and responsive, echoing such bastions of small-group chamber jazz as Don Ellis and Bill Dixon . . . the merging of classicism, freedom and eclecticism has made this trio a drummer-less powerhouse. Despite the references to sleep deprivation, this set is as engaging and unpredictable as any bright fall afternoon." —Clifford Allen, All About Jazz-New York
  • "McNeil has a wicked, almost relentless sense of humour . . .  McNeil is a fine and highly underrated player . . . With a breadth of style, a clear sense of humour and understanding of the human condition, Sleep Won't Come works because, in many ways, it is simply all too familiar." —John Kelman,
  • ". . . a touching rendition of the traditional 'The Water Is Wide,' where all three musicians excel in communicating heartfelt feelings.  The original pieces, though, are exciting blends of collective artistry." —Frank Rubolino, Cadence
  • ". . . one of the best new jazz releases out in a long time that I can't get off of my CD player . . . this stellar work of art only strengthens an already rich and deep catalog of jazz masterpieces [on OmniTone] . . . [a] gorgeous, lush collection of personal stories/songs . . . .  As a matter of fact, this collection of recorded music will stand the test of time as one of the great ones. Grab it!!!" —Butch Berman, Berman Music Foundation newsletter
  • ". . . dryly lyrical, middle-range Miles Davis/Chet Baker school, but it seems he's also taken night classes at the Lester Bowie/W. Leo Smith School of Extended Trumpetry, mixing avant-garde elements with cerebral yet swinging post-bop.  Sleep Won't Come (my pick for album title of the year) sounds like the album Chet Baker and George Russell might've made together  . . . one of those (very fine) albums you might give to a friend who thinks s/he is 'scared' of avant-ish sounds . . . or to yourself." —Mark Keresman,
  • "John McNeil doesn't need million-dollar machinery or a state-of-the-art lab to self-assemble little bits into a multi-layered system.  His tool is a trumpet, and a small space on stage or in a studio will do quite nicely." —Jeff Karoub, Small Times
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