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Bernie McGann - Double Dutch

out now - 2 cd set


The saxophonist is a genial but quiet man of few words, belying the passionate intensity of his music. Born in Sydney in 1937, his mature playing – and striking compositions – reached beyond hardbop to Ornette Coleman, whom he was said to emulate at a time when, apparently, he hadn’t heard his model. What he has in common with Coleman is an intense lyricism, mastery of the blues, a harmonic freedom that’s happiest without accompaniment from a chordal instrument – and a totally individual sound…. In these fine recordings, Pochée, with hard-driving bassist Lloyd Swanton – best known as member of improvising trio The Necks – provides the dynamic basis for the leader’s beguiling explorations. Trumpeter Warwick Alder, with his plangent boppish lines, is an admirable foil.

[Bernie McGann] has always played a mix of his own pieces, and unobvious show tunes. That’s true of this album, which commences with ‘Fried Bananas’, Dexter Gordon’s very engaging version of ‘It Could Happen To You’. The wittily-titled ‘D. Day’ is a McGann original based on Doris Day’s 1954 hit ‘Secret Love’, disguised not least by its fast tempo. But the ballad ‘It’s The Talk Of The Town’ is the most revealing of McGann’s totally distinctive approach as an improviser. His solo, after Warwick Alder’s, develops in a characteristically unobvious way, with a hint of a Braxton-like stutter, a touch of tone-coarsening. A gorgeous improvisation – not double Dutch, but not over-literal either. McGann is a modern jazz master. Extract from Andy Hamilton (The Wire, Jazz Journal, UK)


Recorded at The Bimhuis Amsterdam 16 October 2004 by Dimitris Dimopoulos

Disc One

1 Fried Bananas   Dexter Gordon  Warner Chappell  17.23

2 Spirit Song   EMI Songs Music Publishing              17.32

3 Brownsville                                16.40

Time 51.34

Disc Two

1 D. Day  14.01

2 It’s the Talk of the Town   Livingston, Neiburg, Symes   J Albert & Sons 13.03

3 The Jeep is Jumpin’   Ellington/Hodges   EMI Davis Music Publishing 13.39

Time 40.43

Compositions by McGann and Copyright Control except as indicated


Bernie McGann - Double Dutch 


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