Joel Penner

The Church of the Little Black Dog

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Joel Penner is a veteran musician who evidently makes his recording debut as a leader with this 2005 release for Sea Breeze. The trumpeter and fl├╝gelhornist leads a tight-knit group through a set mixing standards, jazz, and compositions arranged by Rick Hils. Penner opens with a spirited interpretation of "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," while "Invitation" incorporates a funky backbeat with a touch of Latin percussion. Penner's mellow trumpet is featured to good effect in "Laura," while guitarist Doug MacDonald scored the lush setting of "My Funny Valentine," showcasing tenor saxophonist Michael Rose and the leader on fl├╝gelhorn. Unfortunately, Cengiz Yaltkaya's incongruous electric piano gives most of the session a rather dated feeling, something that could have been remedied by utilizing an acoustic instrument, while the slow to develop "Tombo in 7/4" doesn't fit in very well with the session as a whole.

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