Plunge’s second release. This unusual trio – comprised of three of New Orleans’ preeminent modern jazz players, MARK McGRAIN on trombone, TIM GREEN on saxophones, and JAMES SINGLETON on bass -- is notable for its propulsive, progressive approach, breadth of style and range, melodies that soar across the sonic space and a relentless rhythmic base. The combo roots itself in a blend of traditions that combines the endurance and euphoria of a New Orleans brass band funking its way down the street and the cool, cerebral musings of modernist cross-over groove merchants the likes of Medeski, Martin, and Wood, and Stanton Moore. McGrain’s compositions often resemble the work of contemporary instrumental songsmiths Bill Frisell, and Jenny Scheinman, and at times the electro adventurism of Marco Benevento.
Bassist JAMES SINGLETON is a stalwart of the New Orleans music scene whose performance and recording credits include: Astral Project, Joe Henderson, Milt Jackson, Eddie Harris, Clark Terry, Lightnin' Hopkins, Gatemouth Brown, John Scofield, Dave Liebman, Natalie Cole, Aarron Neville, Branford and Wynton, Marsalis, Lars Edegran, Juanita Brooks, Harry Connick jr, John Cleary, James Booker, Professor Longhair, and others.
Saxophonist TIM GREEN’s performance and recording credits include: Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Cyril Neville, Robert Walter, Anders Osborne, Russell Batiste, Marshall Allen, Michael Ray and Cosmic Krewe, 3 Now 4, Juanita Brooks, and countless others.
Trombonist/Composer MARK McGRAIN has worked with Cyril Neville, Michael Ray, The Anders Osborne Band, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Fredy Omar, and has appearanced with Medeski Martin and Wood, Al Grey and others; composer for PBS, former Berklee College of Music faculty member, and is the author of Music Notation, Hal Leonard Publications.
Standout cuts include the lyrically sumptuous “Opium,” the rich horn voicings and driving bass of “Orion Rising,” the upbeat groove anthem “The Praise Singer,” the reflective lilting jazz waltz “Missing Mozambique,” and the moody, low register romp of “Life of a Cipher.”
Album tracks (stand-outs: 2, 3, 6, 8, & 10):
1. Friday Night at the Top (6:47) – driving bass hi-life styled groove with horn lines interjecting.
2. Life of a Cipher (6:34) – ultra-cool stealth rumba slinking around the low-register.
3. Orion Rising (4:30) – energetic, fast walking bass with rich horn voicings.
4. Luminata No 257 (5:43) – pointillist, expansive motivic improvisation.
5. One Man’s Machine (5:57) – jazz electro-industrial.
6. Opium (5:49) – melodically eloquent, rhythmically deluxe.
7. Dancing on Thin Ice (5:10) – angular, concerted line; wryly whimsical.
8. Missing Mozambique (4:12) – beautiful, reflective ballad, jazz waltz.
9. Jugs March In (:58) – A short, incidental transition passing left to right.
10. The Praise Singer (4:05) – Upbeat jazz anthem – melodic.
11. Skickin’ Away (2:00) – Short and sweet; a light, easy walk-out.