Justin Mullens: The Cornucopiad

You don’t get too many jazz albums with the usually unwieldy French Horn, so try to appreciate this effort by Justin Mullens, as he puts out an impressive approach to some jazz standards as well as creating some rich originals. His front line includes Chris Cheek/as-cl, Peter Hess/bcl and Ohad Talmor/ts and there form rich harmonies on “Mr. Squeaks” and a fragrant read of “Naima” that spotlights the leader’s brass knuckles. Guitarist Pete Thompson adds some clever twangs with the rhythm team of Desmond White/b, Matt Ray/p and Marko Djordjevic/dr on “Santo Nero” while long tones make for rich sounds on “Sylvia D.” and the team gets a bit angular on “Goatfish.” Never a dull moment, with the horns able to create effects as on “Dr. Blu” or warm moods during the bopping “River Horn.” Cleverly conceived and delivered.

Bju Records


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