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Monday, September 12, 2016

CD Review: Ryan Quigley – What Doesn’t Kill You

Ryan Quigley (trumpet), Paul Booth (tenor saxophone, alto flute), Steve Hamilton (piano, Fender Rhodes), Michael Janisch (double bass) & Clarence Penn (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Prologue introduces Ryan Quigley. A short solo trumpet feature, the quality immediately apparent. Recorded in July 2014, Quigley’s new album What Doesn’t Kill You boasts the finest of line-ups. Joining the band leader is Paul Booth, reeds, Steve Hamilton, piano and Fender Rhodes, record label boss Michael Janisch, double bass and the brilliant American drummer Clarence Penn.

Doctor Stage, all eight minutes and twenty seconds of it, sizzles from note one. Tenor, of the searing variety, sets a killer pace and Quigley responds in style driven along by a bass and drums engine room working overtime. Ten tracks, bookended by solo trumpet pieces (Prologue and Epilogue), total some fifty-six minutes. Quigley wrote all ten compositions with one exception – Janisch’s Intro to Hymn to Their Homeland. All of the tunes on this  Whirlwind Recordings’ CD exhibit strong melodies, a cohesive, collective sound, and the   assured improvisational flights one would associate with Quigley and his band mates.

A wistful, neo-classical Fire Eyes gives way to the title track; Steve Hamilton’s brooding Fender Rhodes with something of a NYC downtown feel to it, Paul Booth’s fully formed tenor playing featuring prominently. Quigley’s inspiration, or starting point, is, perhaps, a love of the hard bop canon and the later contemplative explorations of John Coltrane and others. Two superb tracks – The Long Journey Home and Hymn to Their Homeland – are cornerstones of the album: the former roaring out of Messengers’ territory with Clarence Penn in commanding form behind a trumpet/tenor joust, the latter hears considered keys  from Steve Hamilton.

Say What You See is a penultimate tune blow out. Fifties hard bop is given a contemporary reading, the icons of music (Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson) would have welcomed as equals to the stage Messrs Quigley, Booth, Hamilton, Janisch and Penn.                    
Russell

What Doesn’t Kill You by Ryan Quigley is available now on Whirlwind Recordings (WR4691).

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