Spin Cycle's Self-Titled Far-Reaching Debut (SoundFootingRecords) Works Like a Charm [REVIEW]
With collective credits in the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Joe Lovano, the Jazz Mandolin Project, Gil Evans, Madeleine Peyroux, Broadway pit orchestras and Cheap Trick, what would be the natural next for Oklahoma drummer Scott Neumann, 54, and Californian saxophonist Tom Christensen, 55? You relocate to New York City in the late '80s, become known, gig out a lot, form a band with guitarist Pete McCann and bassist Phil Palombi called Spin Cycle and release a self-titled debut. To separate yourself, you put a grunge-punk track like "Smart Aleck" right smack dab in the middle of nine other originals just to add a little zest.
That's the fun of a CD like Spin Cycle. It's a free-wheeling, take-no-prisoners roller coaster ride accentuating everybody's chops and arranging skills. It doesn't let up. With no piano, their funky chops, their Coltrane influence, their willingness to venture free and edgy, gives the mix a startlingly vivid -- sometimes livid -- sound that uses anger as much as tenderness, yin as much as yang and show-biz smarts as much as wildly evocative, passionate and experimental creativity.
By the time it's over, one can only smile at its memory and want to do it all over again.
If Neumann's 2013 Neu3 Trio was Blessed, Spin Cycle is sanctified, pouring forth a variety show's amount of different sounds. Neumann obviously knew what he was doing by going out and getting Wisconsin guitarist McCann (with whom he had studied at North Texas State). Sax man Christensen is heavily influenced by Joe Henderson [1937-2001] whom he studied under. His 2000 debut as leader, Gualala, as promising as it was, does not prepare one for Spin Cycle.
With a spicy delicious trebly kind of attention-to-detail, Spin Cycle, the CD, is a joy. With the experience invested in these four, their concerts are said to be even better: watch for them at The Jazz Room in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on June 25, The Rex in Toronto June 26 and the Rochester New York Jazz Festival on June 27.