reviews and citations for
John McNeil: This Way Out (OmniTone
"...palpable wit, gentility of expression, glancing tone ...
the four hew to crafty interplay, rhythmic nudge and tidy
extraordinary disc ... McNeil's writing is enormously
sophisticated and a bit warped ... full of conceptual surprises"
- "...clean, fluid lines
flow confidently throughout the CD, providing a sense
of wit and emotion.... McNeil runs the gamut from spacious
and introspective to tightly wound, feel-good
romps, showing why he has been so active and respected for so many years."
candidate for album of the year ... a recording
of genius, international fare, and exemplary jazz ... This Way
Out is indeed a way to 'out[side]' jazz, the way out of the jazz/music
doldrums, and indeed 'way out' music.... This is as unique
and continually satisfying as any recording in recent years."
"...solidly first-rate ... a variety of rhythms and melodies
rather than exploring just a few in depth."
- "...McNeil is nothing
if he is not a stylist: his smears, slurs, attacks and turns of phrase are
unmistakably his ... freewheeling forays into odd metres,
bolero and tango rhythms, and other inventiveness that 'swing' without
swing, per se."
—La Scena Musicale (Québec,
- "...jazz originals like
McNeil follow their own muse.... a vibrant, adventurous
and totally captivating glimpse into McNeil's creative mind. Infectious
Spanish rhythms leap out of nearly every track ... A
masterpiece. Benitez, in his explorative, keening sound, is a
perfect foil for McNeil's odd meters, understated melodies
and skillful use of silence, while Valle and Smith hold it all together
with impeccable taste and timing."
Music Foundation newsletter [Read
solos from the trumpet and tenor ... McNeil often sounds like he is
playing flugelhorn, his tone is a pure and constantly
enchanting. Gorka also a rich, warm tone, not too distant from
Atlantic period Trane or Dexter Gordon. Solid writing and strong
playing from all."
— Downtown Music Gallery (NY)