this recording demonstrates the value of continued, long time — over sixteen years — of playing together.
Origin Records OA2 22215
Paul Tynan (Trumpet, Flugelhorn), Aaron Lington (Baritone Saxophone), Trifon Dimitrov (Electric Bass), Joe Abba (Drums, Cymbals, Percussion)
Recorded July 11-12 2022
The Bicoastal Collective is a contemporary jazz partnership that was formed in 2007 by Nova Scotia-based trumpeter/flugelhornist Paul Tynan and baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington from the San Francisco Bay Area. For Chapter Six, they pair with the New York rhythm team of electric bassist Trifon Dimitrov and drummer Joe Abba for a chord-less quartet. Tynan and Lington split the writing credits on the album, each contributing three songs.
This album is a relatively unique pairing of trumpet and baritone saxophone. A likely comparison could be to the esteemed partnership of Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan but this is music with a modern driving beat.
The excellent bassist-drummer combination provides the bedrock for the soloing or harmonizing horn improvisations. This CD is their sixth in the recording series.
“By Iron and Fire” opens with a tight drum and bass combination that reminds me of Miles Davis in the “Bitches Brew” era. The rhythm section maintains that beat with some minor variations throughout the song. The trumpet plays through various electronics. The band’s sound is very satisfying.
“Traveler From an Antique Land” opens with percussion and the horns join in close harmony. The horns tradeoff the lead throughout the song. The electronically treated trumpet gives the song an otherworldly, spacey feel. Lington takes a solo using the full range of the baritone. Drummer Joe Abba plays delicate cymbals throughout the tune.
“Arbitrary Rules” brings the whole band in as a unit. The bass and drums lay down a foundational groove with the horns harmonizing before trading the lead back and forth. Lington stays in the saxophone’s middle range that contrasts well with the trumpet. The Miles Davis-style groove of bass and drums propels this song forward.
In “Dark Halo” Tynan takes a winding and weaving solo over the saxophone. The section is followed by a baritone solo over the trumpet restating some of the themes made by Tynan. The bass and drums keep this tune moving along in a groove.
This is a well-recorded CD. Often an electric bassist can sound muddy, but not on this CD. Unlike many later Miles recordings, the two horns play together rather than just soloing one after the other. This elevates this recording and demonstrates the value of continued, long time — over sixteen years — of playing together.
I recommend seeking out and revisiting some of Tynan’s and Lington’s previous recordings, such as Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Five. It too shares extraordinary horn work.