Flashbacks (Extra Celestial Arts Records) is the fifth album by composer/pianist Barney McAll, and continues the exciting trajectory - begun with his debut, Exit - into his own distinctive sound world. Like its predecessor, Mother of Dreams and Secrets, it features both brilliant guitar innovator Kurt Rosenwinkel and some traditional sacred Afro Cuban rhythms. But the Cuban influence is fully subsumed here, and there is no way that this album could be categorized as World Music. In fact, other than 'contemporary', it is hard to place any label on McAll's music.
With his own music, McAll takes us on a mysterious and unpredictable journey with each album. His experience writing film scores is evident in crafting an integrated 'whole'. Rather than extended features for his own keyboard skills, McAll is foremost an alchemist, mixing various - and seemingly diverse - elements into a unified sonic landscape. The sounds range from exquisitely delicate piano to the grungy guitar of "Red and Black Shifts". He incorporates electronic sounds too, but in a very subtle way, as an added texture rather than for clever effect (such as the delicate bell chimes sounds behind the guitar in "Costello"). He also knows how to use simplicity and space and let the music breathe. McAll has collaborated with vocalists and knows how to write songs and create real melodies. "Circle Cycle" works on a relatively simple repetition until near the end, when the horn harmonies introduce a layer of slightly unnerving discord to makes it seems like the ground is shifting form under you.
Like a contemporary version of "Bitches Brew", this is a concept album which could only be realized by outstanding contemporary jazz players, yet has no jazz rhythms on it. It is also hypnotic at times, and soars too with some breathtaking solos taking things to new levels. But the language is unmistakably the music of now - just as Miles Davis would insist it should be. There are no easy labels for this music. But when you take a leader from Mooroolbark, Australia, and add Afro Cuban rhythms with NYC contemporary jazz players, how could there be?
Since permanently moving to NYC from Australia in 1997 to join Gary Bartz's quartet (working with him ever since), he has played the broadest spectrum of gigs from accompanying Gospel choirs in church to the Downtown scene of The Knitting Factory and John Zorn's club "The Stone". The Brooklyn based pianist has played with jazz heavyweights such as Jimmy Cobb (who featured on McAll's debut CD), the late Dewey Redman, and Billy Harper, as well as funk greats Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley and the JBs. His contemporary credits include Kurt Rosenwinkel's "Heartcore" group, and both Josh Roseman's "New Constellations" big band and Unit.
QUOTES ON BARNEY
Barney McAll is a musical conjurer of the highest order
There was a virtual absence of familiar bop riffs, extended bop harmonies or precise bop rhythms. Instead, Rosenwinkel's pieces offered turbulent, thickly textured waves of sound, mostly produced by Barney McAll's impassioned keyboard work.
- LOS ANGELES TIMES
Barney is a special piano player with that certain heart and touch, so he has great possibilities. He's a genuine musician, not just a skilled artist. There's a certain touch that I'm talking about. It's hard to explain, but he has that"
Using space and simplicity, Barney McAll conjures mighty music
McAll manages to intelligently integrate pop elements into his music and deserves much wider attention.
- LOS ANGELES TIMES
McAll displays an immediate feel for each pattern and the stamina to sustain them without sounding automatic. McAll also
contributed some of the most successful solos, playfully blending his parts of the arrangements with bleeding voicings and
-THE BOSTON GLOBE
"(McAll's) ability to craft memorable themes is matched by a feel for the atmospheric..Now established on the intensely
competitive New York jazz scene, he plays here with some of the city's leading musicians.His music is utterly contemporary,
McAll demonstrating throughout that he is a talented composer as
well as gifted keyboardist"
- ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE
The revelation of the evening is pianist Barney McAll. Playing beneath the
liquid passages of (Dewey) Redman, McAll carefully kneaded clusters of notes from his hands that I found devastating. He explored ideas with a dramatic
flourish that had the audience in raptures"
released September 7, 2012
BARNEY MCALL - FLASHBACKS
1. ELEGUA DICTATE (TRAD/BARNABY MCALL MUSIC ASCAP)
2. FLASHBACK (BARNABY MCALL MUSIC ASCAP)
3. END OF THINGS START OF THINGS (BARNABY MCALL MUSIC ASCAP)
4. NEW EYES (BARNABY MCALL MUSIC ASCAP)
5. RED AND BLACK SHIFTS (BARNABY MCALL MUSIC ASCAP)
6. CIRCLE CYCLE (BARNABY MCALL MUSIC ASCAP)
7. COSTELLO (BARNABY MCALL MUSIC ASCAP)
8. TEN DAYS OF SILENCE (BARNABY MCALL MUSIC ASCAP)
All Titles (Barnaby McAll music ASCAP)
Piano , Keyboards and Chucky: Barney McAll
Guitar: Kurt Rosenwinkel
Bass: Drew Gress 2,3,4,6,7
Electric Bass: Jonathan Maron 1,5
Drums: Obed Calvaire 1-7
Drums: George Schuller 8
Bata and Percussion: Pedrito Martinez 1,3,4,5
Tenor sax: Jaycito Rodriguez 1,2,3,4,6
Trombone: Joshua Roseman 1,2,3,4,6
Alto Sax: Tiger Rex 7
Produced By Barney McAll / Extracelestial Arts
Engineer: Andrew Felluss at 58N6 Studio, Brooklyn
Mixed and Mastered by : Hiro Sanada at Crystal Elevator NYC
Love and thanks to;
Josh Roseman and Srinija Srinivasan,
Kurt, Obed, Drew, Maroner, Jay, Pedrito, Tiger, George and Matt,
McAlls All, Martin Jackson, Michael Watt, Mike Nock, Paul Grabowsky,
and especially to Jennifer, Elias and Julius whose love and patience make