Adam Unsworth, Byron Olson, John Vanore: Balance

Here is a collection of originals arranged in a fascinating mix of moods. The core team of Adam Unsweorth/French horn, John Vanore/tp-fh and Bob Mallach/ts lead not only a quintet with bill Mays/p, Mike Richmond/b and danny Gottlieb/dr, but are augmented by an orchestra that includes strings, winds and brass to superb effect. Arranged mostly by Byron Olson, the large ensemble serves as both a brilliant framework and foil for these lively yet lyrical themes.

Not normally considered a solo instrument in jazz, the French horn sounds warm and lyrical in Unsworth’s hands, as on the fragrant “Balance” as well as the sweet and melancholy “Michele.” The mix of woodwinds, strings and Mays’  piano on “Flow” serves as a marvelous foundation for Vanore’s autumnal trumpet, while “Blues Nocturne” slips and slides. Mallach’s tenor serves as a rich contrast with the orchestra on “Bittersweet” and he shows he can get funky on the playful “One Last Fling.” This is some impressive work by a band that would be a thrill to hear in concert. Bring them to LA!

Acoustical Concepts

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