New Release - HUSH POINT (Sunnyside)

This quartet features one of the most reliable and lyrical trumpeters in New York, the unjustly overlooked John McNeil, who's released a handful of dazzling pianoless quartet records that clearly draw inspiration from the quiet, highly interactive sound of 50s west-coast jazz.

But don't let McNeil's debt to the past mislead you—this is a guy who's played jazz versions of Shaggs songs. After several recordings with excellent tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry, he joins forces in Hush Point with bassist Aryeh Kobrinksy, drummer Vinnie Sperrazza, and alto saxophonist Jeremy Udden, an ingenious musician who credibly merges jazz with Americana in his own band Plainville. Sturdy originals—some of which were written using the time-tested bebop approach of adding new melodies to the changes from standards—rub elbows with a pair of Jimmy Giuffre classics, and the band focuses on subtle interplay and refined melodic improvisation, demonstrating an elegant rapport too often lacking in jazz today.

Peter Margasak


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