The six promising young musicians who comprise Tunnel Six met while attending the International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. They quickly discovered a chemistry and worked to interpret the members' compositions, touring parts of Canada and the U.S. for a few weeks prior to entering the studio to record their debut album. The interaction between them makes it sound like they have been playing together for far longer, while it is clear that each musician dove headfirst into bringing out the nuances of his fellow bandmates' compositions, so there isn't as much emphasis on dominating the solo spotlight as there typically is on CDs by young artists. Trumpeter/flügelhornist Chad McCullough penned the loping yet spirited "Tunnel Mountain," which features lush ensembles, terrific exchanges by the composer on trumpet with soprano saxophonist Ben Dietschi, and an understated, elegant piano solo by Andrew Oliver. Guitarist Brian Seligman's "Not Yet" simmers for the first few measures as the band builds the tension until the composer's rockish solo. Dietschi contributed the mellow "Song for Masha," showcasing his lyrical tenor sax. Bassist Ron Hynes and drummer Tyson Stubelek provide terrific support throughout this rewarding debut recording.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden