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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

CD Review: Pete McCann - Range.

Pete McCann (gtr); John O'Gallagher (alt); Henry Hey (keys); Matt Clohesy (bs); Mark Ferber (dms).
(Review by Lance).
New York based McCann, 25 years a respected sideman on the New York circuit, brings his 5th album as leader to Michael Janisch's increasingly influential Whirlwind label. Janisch, executive producer of the album, has picked a lot of winners since he founded the label in 2010 and this release maintains the high level of performance.
Not an album to pigeonhole it's an album for today but with many different facets: Gentle ethereal sounds; hard postbop and some wild jazz rock blasts.
As a guitarist, McCann ticks the boxes of Wes Montgomery, Bill Frissell, Scofield as well as Stern, Holdsworth and McLaughlin plus a few others in between without compromising his own individuality. 
O'Gallagher can certainly circumnavigate an alto saxophone witness Realm. Mustard* is another fiery sax track that's also enhanced by by Henry Hey's B3 workout. As hot as Jalopeño is how the album notes call it - no argument, it had me searching for an ice cold beer as I listened!
Bridge Scandal - inspired by the angst of a New Jersey lane closure that was full of political maneuvering and intrigue - the wild guitar thrashing and the chaotic blasts are the best depiction of a traffic jam since Artie Shaw and, given the volume of traffic today compared to 1939 + the politics of the whole affair, I'd say that McCann got it spot on!
Equally, McCann's romantic Mine is Yours displays tenderness without schmaltz.
All 10 tracks are by McCann and, apart from the ones mentioned, others include: Kenny (tribute to Kenny Wheeler); Rumbles (homage to the writing of Lee Konitz); Numinous (an exercise in 12-tonism); To the Mountain; Seventh Jar and Dyad Changes.
Range is a good title for the album displaying, as it does, the broad spectrum within which works McCann.
Lance.
Available on Whirlwind Recordings WR4675 from Sept. 15.

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