Brooklyn Ritual

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Some dogmatists in the jazz world would have us believe that improvisers have to record a lot of overdone standards in order to prove that they are legitimate. Such dogma is mindless; while standards can be great for practicing, there is no law stating that jazzmen are obligated to record a lot of them -- or that original material cannot dominate their albums. To his credit, trumpeter John McNeil does most of the writing himself on Brooklyn Ritual, a 1997 date that he co-leads with reedman Kenny Berger who is heard on baritone sax, clarinet, and bass clarinet. All of the musicians on this CD are New York residents; that is true of McNeil and Berger as well as trombonist ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Some dogmatists in the jazz world would have us believe that improvisers have to record a lot of overdone standards in order to prove that they are legitimate. Such dogma is mindless; while standards can be great for practicing, there is no law stating that jazzmen are obligated to record a lot of them -- or that original material cannot dominate their albums. To his credit, trumpeter John McNeil does most of the writing himself on Brooklyn Ritual, a 1997 date that he co-leads with reedman Kenny Berger who is heard on baritone sax, clarinet, and bass clarinet. All of the musicians on this CD are New York residents; that is true of McNeil and Berger as well as trombonist John Mosca, bassist Dean Johnson, and drummer Steve Johns. The only well-known standard that this pianoless quintet interprets is Ary Barroso's "Brazil"; McNeil is the composer on decent post-bop pieces that range from the melancholy "One Last Goodbye" and the angular "Strictly Ballroom" to the intriguing "Doo-Wop," which manages to combine doo wop elements with the intellect of Miles Davis' 1960s groups. Doo wop, of course, was never meant to be intellectual -- it thrived on simplicity -- and McNeil's ability to fuse doo wop with something totally different speaks well of the Davis-influenced trumpeter. Brooklyn Ritual isn't a masterpiece, but it's a likable post-bop effort that will appeal to those who have a taste for the cerebral.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/1998
  • Label: Synergy Music
  • UPC: 616948000929
  • Catalog Number: 80009
  • Sales rank: 313,430

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Emerson - Kenny Berger (5:51)
  2. 2 Doo-wop - Kenny Berger (4:16)
  3. 3 Smoke - Kenny Berger (4:59)
  4. 4 One Last Goodbye - Kenny Berger (4:16)
  5. 5 Brazil - Kenny Berger (6:48)
  6. 6 Hogwash - Kenny Berger (6:59)
  7. 7 Big City - Kenny Berger (3:35)
  8. 8 Stevie Steps Out - Kenny Berger (5:42)
  9. 9 Strictly Ballroom - Kenny Berger (7:23)
  10. 10 Afu - Kenny Berger (6:48)
  11. 11 Something Cool - Kenny Berger (4:10)
  12. 12 Reggae Jackson - Kenny Berger (4:53)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John McNeil Primary Artist, Trumpet, Track Performer
Kenny Berger Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Track Performer
Steve Johns Drums
John Mosca Trombone
Technical Credits
John McNeil Liner Notes
Kenny Berger Producer, Liner Notes
Jim Clouse Engineer
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