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IMPROVIJAZZATION Nation

Issue # 98 REVIEWS

by: Dick Metcalf

Plunge - DANCING ON THIN ICE: Plunge is a trio from New Orleans made up of Mark McGrain on trombone, Tim Green on saxophones and James Singleton on bass.  It isn't your "standard" jazz trio in any sense of the word, yet they play jazz that clearly is influenced by the Gods (& Goddesses) in that neck of the woods.  There are strange little demons vocally assaulting your ears as the trombone & bass dance together, strangely reminiscent (in my mind, anyway) of some ancient voodoo rite of passage... that's evident on the opener, "Friday Night at the Top", which blends mysteriously right into the next tune, "Life of a Cipher"... dark tones here from Tim, but they'll get you dancin' to the heat of the tribal fire I can imagine this being played around.  This is their second release, & we certainly expect we'll be hearing much more from them... high talent & their own distinctive groove... a really tight trio... listen to the high-pitch reeds at about 2:44 on "Cipher", reminding me of something Roland Kirk might have played, & when Mark's 'bone kicks in at about 3:15, the groove is clearly established (shades of Peter Gunn... ha! ha!).  There's a strange element of one of those New Orleans marching bands in their patterns, definitely funkified... having been down this trail myself on one or more occasions (many, many years ago now), I can really relate to the "nod" they establish on "Opium"... it just seems to have that swagger we had when the flip was over & the nod went away... it's my favorite piece of the 11 all original McGrain compositions.  "Plunge" has it's own unique sound that jazzers hungry for talent will dig to the 'nth degree!  This band gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, with an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.94. 
 
 

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