The third installment in the exciting and energetic Bicoastal Collective’s oeuvre, simply entitled Chapter Three, maintains the same combination of memorable compositions and engaging improvisations that characterized the first two records. Co-led by Antigonish (Nova Scotia)-based trumpeter Paul Tynan and San Franciscan baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington, the sextet works through six originals, each with its own unique flavor, yet all solidly in the mainstream post-bop tradition. The high point of this delightful album is the cinematic, Tynan-penned “Painting.” This intriguing piece, filled with dark, lilting tones and subtle, Eastern accents, demonstrates the camaraderie between the ensemble members, as well as their prowess as soloists. Tynan’s clean mellow horn radiates nocturnesque vibes, especially when buoyed by the electrical and ethereal pairing of guitar and Fender Rhodes. Vancouver-born and Cleveland-settled Ashley Summers’ lyrical and sinewy bass brings a mystical element to the tune. Meanwhile, Lington’s mordant and intricate baritone flirts with freer styles.
Lington’s own bluesy “Folklike” features Chicagoan Dan Murphy’s soulful and gritty keys and Salt Lake City native Corey Christensen’s tight, Jimi Hendrix-inspired guitar. Tynan’s burnished trumpet blows over the simmering rhythms like a cool breeze. Christensen brings a strong sense of soulful harmony to the atmospheric “Tgok,” while Murphy’s bright and shimmering Fender Rhodes help enhance the fusion-esque groove of this hypnotic ballad. Murphy’s tight and intricate solo on the spirited “Stat” unfolds over fellow Chicago denizen Jon Deitemyer’s galvanizing drum work.
Deitemyer exhibits his elegant and reserved touch with the quiet whispers of the brushes on Lington’s languid “Emergence,” anchoring the group’s orchestral sounds. Elsewhere Lington’s mellifluous and sophisticated baritone on his, vaguely Latin “Zephyr” enhances the romantic mood set by Summers’ deeply passionate and resonant pizzicato notes. This stimulating disc strikes a satisfying a balance between accessibility and innovation.
By: Hrayr Attarian