Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Plunge, IN for the OUT, with Mark McGrain

Mark McGrain, an outstanding jazz trombonist, has been making some very good albums with his group Plunge (type that in the search box for other reviews). There is a new one, another good one, called IN for the OUT (Immersion 15-01) and I've been listening to it, happily.

This one injects a good helping of New Orleans funk along with some excellent excursions into semi-avant terrain. McGrain's trombone gets plenty of space and he sounds motivated and inspired. The band is a pretty large one, a septet with of course McGrain, Robert Walter on organ, Kirk Joseph on a very NOLA tuba, Simon Lott on drums and electronic percussion, Tom Fitzpatrick on tenor sax and flute, James Singleton on acoustic bass, and Tim Green on saxello and baritone sax.

It's a rollickingly good band effort. Everybody gets the spirit with a strong soulfulness and then sometimes goes where you don't expect. The arrangements are well put-together and compositionally there are some very original things to hear. It's music that will make you smile, pat your foot, and dig the solid soloing. But then it can get serious, too, and you find yourself very absorbed in some innovative music.

Nothing is one-off or fluff. It is substantial and an example of why NOLA is still the setting for some excellent jazz. Give it a spin!

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