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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Long-Ass Car Ride Review - Mark Buselli

Long-Ass Car Ride Reviews: I take long-ass car rides, I listen to albums, I let you know if they are worthwhile.

pretty artwork!
Mark Buselli - Untold Stories (2013) 7.75/10

Mark Buselli - trumpet, flugelhorn
Danny Walsh - saxophones
Steve Allee - piano
Jeremy Allen - bass
Steve Houghton - drums

In a word: pleasant!

Don't be fooled by the artwork - it isn't professor jazz and it's not boring straight-ahead, either. Very good players tackle very good, positive music. The opening title track has appealing melody and solos. Pianist Steve Allee's "Slider" could be right off of a 1965 Lee Morgan album. There's nothing wrong with that when it's done well, and it is. Buselli's take on Ellington's "Angelica" winds up being the best track among many good ones; alternating between a happy, gentle funk and swing; Saxophonist Danny Walsh sounds great, here. Buselli's soothing ballad

"Claude" is a nice showcase for his superb flugelhorn with a busy but cool solo, Allee really shines, as well. "Istanbul" is pleasantly jaunty but still manages to sneak in the neat chordal hooks that pervade throughout the album. The long form allows for a lot of great solos: Bassist Jeremy Allen has an excellent turn and Buselli is reminiscent of Art Farmer with fine tone and moody, pretty, searching lines. The pianist's "What About Me" (over "How About You" changes) is whimsical and Konitz-y with pop inspirations where everyone shows off their considerable bebop/postbop vocabulary; Walsh sounding particularly cozy on the alto, and drummer Houghton finally getting some. The combo of alto/flugelhorn in unison is very nice, at times sounding like a human voice. "Jetstream" makes a good closer with it's simplistic melodies and strong outings from everyone. Nice sound from all, an excellent band with modern, feel-good music. Winning!

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