MP3 Michael O´Neill Quintet featuring Kenny Washington - The Long And The Short Of It
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8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo
A few years ago, when I first met and worked with Kenny Washington, I
visualized integrating his remarkable talent, both as a solo voice and as an
ensemble voice (like another horn), into the fabric of my quintet. Since
that initial meeting, I have worked toward realizing that
potential, an effort that has culminated in this CD.
From the beginning, Kenny and I have teased each other about not having
commercial recordings as featured artists in this day and age where it seems
that everyone who owns a guitar has made and released a CD. This is, I
think, especially remarkable for Kenny considering his popularity and
acclaim in the Bay Area and beyond. It is fitting then that my first release
should also showcase Kenny.
Kenny's voice is utilized in two basic ways on the recording. First, I
have written arrangements of standard tunes which feature Kenny's voice in a
more or less traditional way. Secondly, on two of the original tunes, Kenny
vocalizes the melody (head) in unison or harmony with the tenor and
flugelhorn like another horn -- not out front, but blended in, to create a
unique timbre. He then takes his turn with the other instrumentalists as a
With most of today's "scat singers", the best that
one can hope for is some rhythmic inventiveness. Kenny's sensibilities, however, go far beyond the rhythmic. He is a true melodic innovator with a deep understanding of the harmonic underpinnings of the material, which comes not only from his exceptional ability to hear, but also from years of study as a jazz saxophonist. This adds up to Kenny's ability to conceptualize and execute great jazz solos.
The front line is rounded out by my long time associate, Steve Campos, on
trumpet and flugelhorn. For years Steve has been top call for live
engagements and session work in the Bay Area. His unique melodic concept,
and his beautiful, identifiable sound, combined with an intense rhythmic
drive, give his playing an exciting and infectious quality.
Michael Bluestein, originally from Boston and now living in LA, will
always have a home in the Bay Area where he has become a lifetime member of
the musical community. His solos are always inventive -- driving on the
medium and up tempo tunes, lush and spacious on the ballads. His comping is
sparse, interactive, and always supportive.
Alan Hall, while having almost metronomic time, exhibits a dynamism and
excitement not always associated with rhythmic consistency. His playing
ranges from Elvin-like churning and explosiveness to subtle brush
colorations on the ballads. He demonstrates a different kind of brush work on
the beginning of Bye-Bye https://www.tradebit.comck out his hand drumming on the
intro to Caravan.
Peter Barshay, who has worked with Alan in several contexts, including my
quintet, has the confidence in Alan's consistency to push and pull ever so
slightly on the beat, to give it a wonderful, organic quality. On the up
tempo material, Peter compels the beat forward by playing slightly on top.
On the ballads, Peter alternates playing moving lines behind the melody or
soloist with long sustained notes in resolution or pauses in the harmonic
Murray Lowe who appears on two cuts (I Know What Love Is and Grey Whale
Cove) exhibits a much different quality of playing here than is usually
associated with him as the keyboardist with the Pete Escovedo Band. Here he
abandons his driving rhythmic approach in favor of a gentle, cascading,
beautifully melodic stream of consciousness.
Danilo Paiz, who plays various percussion on Masai and Grey Whale Cove,
demonstrates impeccable taste in adding just the right colorations to those
All in all, I think that this collaboration represents my vision well. I
am proud of the results and of the work of all the contributors and I'm looking forward to the next step in the evolution.
in partnership with CDbaby (ID 492694)
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