John Clark: The Odd Couple Quintet +1

Here’s a delivery of jazz that you don’t get that often. Outside of Julius Watkins, no one has really taken the French Horn and tried it in jazz.  Here, not only  does John Clark bring the brass instrument back in town, but he ups the ante by adding a bassoonist n Michael Rabinowitz to the front  line. The rest of the team consists of jazzers Freddie Bryant/g, Mark Egan/b, Abe Fogle/dr and Pete Levin, and they keep the material fresh and swinging.

And what is the material? That kicks up the level to a higher plane as well; bookended by a bright and lively read of Neal Hefti’s “The Odd Couple Theme” and an electric fusioned “Corporations Are For People “ are six adaptations from Mozart compositions, most notable his Horn Concertos. You get a nice and funky “MK44JC1” and a Latinized “MK495JC1” which includes some nice piano work by Levin. The melding of the two horns is sublime; the major limitation to this well conceived piece is that neither the reed nor brass instrument is very rich in dynamics, so the sound tends to rely on a linear direction that is short of depth. Although there is some honking of the horn on”MK447JC3” and clever lines on each solo, the thinness of the wind instruments at times seems buried beneath the more muscular other instruments. Still, a valiant effort.

Composers Concordance

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