Paul Tynan,
Radio Infrequency
(Nohjoh, 2007)

On his fourth CD, Paul Tynan leads a trio with an unusual setup. Tynan plays flugelhorn, Dave Restivo is on piano and Noel Johnston plays guitar.

The stark CD sleeve and the names of the tracks look avant-garde. However, Radio Infrequency is a particularly mellow affair, which explains why Tynan uses a flugelhorn instead of a trumpet.

The six tunes have a late-night vibe. They vary from six to 12 minutes, each moving at a fairly leisurely pace. Tynan takes a soft approach to his horn, gracefully exploring melodic themes. Restivo and Johnston switch between rhythm and lead, both using jazz style without any hints of rock or fusion.

Tynan gives a lot of space to his sidemen. They begin all but the title track by themselves, and Restivo ends the last and longest track, "Nerget," by himself. This works well, since the two mesh, and it gives Tynan a chance to frame his solos.

This is the type of CD that makes you wonder how much of it is written and how much is improvised. Either way, everything seems carefully planned, moving seamlessly through keys and chord changes. Smooth jazz should be like this, thoughtful without being bland, creating a quiet mood using creativity without cliches.

review by
Dave Howell

28 July 2007

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