If you can't sing it then you can't play it...Pete McGuinness can do both!
Brent Black / Not Just Jazz
Whether you are a professional or never made it past lessons you took every Thursday evening at the local church, we have all heard that we need to "sing through the horn." Pete McGuinness has this down cold! The next logical step would be to use his improvisational gifts as an instrumentalist to transition himself into the enviable position as that of one of the more formidable new shooters in the world of jazz vocals.
McGuinness is blessed with an innate gift of timing, the uncanny ability for interpretative phrasing that pushes his talent past those of the ordinary singer and closer to that of a vocal artist. Scat singing in the hands of an amateur is the musical equivalent of tap dancing in a mine field as it normally does not end well, just mercifully. Pete McGuinness has the mad skills to use his scat singing as a means to flex his vocal muscle while adding texture and a swing long since left for dead or at the very least hiding out in the jazz witness protection program. McGuinness is far from a newbie having appeared on over 40 recordings with Voice Like A Horn arguably his finest release to showcase what a complete artist is all about.
The McGuinness vocal touch is made for standards and an eclectic mix is found here with "Yesterdays" along with "Tea For Two" and "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face." While an inherent air of predictability is not necessarily an unfair critique, McGuinness with his Chet Baker like influence transforms an old school presentation into a personal statement of where jazz vocals came from and raises a myriad of possibilities as to their rightful place in the evolution of improvisational music in the future. McGuinness strike the perfect middle ground of style, panache and technical ability that other singers work an entire career for and never achieve. An incredibly well thought out and entertaining presentation.
A one word review? Delightful!
Tracks: Yesterdays; Oh, You Crazy Moon; 49th Street; Birks' Works; Tea For Two; I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face; Who Cares.
Personnel: Pete McGuinness: vocals, trombone; Jon Gordon: alto sax, flute (2,4); Bill Mobley: trumpet (2,4); Ted Kooshian: piano; Andy Eulau: bass; Scott Neumann: drums.