You Know What I Mean


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You Know What I Mean Review

by Dave Nathan

Featuring the tenor and alto saxophones of eminent jazz veteran Bill Perkins, the Danny Pucillo Quartet takes on a play list with four Pucillo originals plus one by guitarist Jinshi Ozaki. Typical of many West Coast groups, Pucillo's four pretty much maintains a cerebral mood, never getting overheated. The name of the game is tightly focused, stay on course, ensemble and solo playing. Pucillo's works come close to being head arrangements saving room for each member of the group to promote his ideas. Typical is the 11-minute "You Know What I Mean," which allows for strong improvisational statements by Perkins (who was having some reed trouble here) and guitarist Jinshi Ozaki. The tracks give bass player Chris Colangelo an opportunity to bring his bowed bass technique into play. Perkins takes honors on a lengthy explosion of "You're My Thrill" and quotes from "Take the A Train" on Billy Strayhorn's "UMMG." "Chase It," filled with contemporary musical ideas and forms, is perhaps the most adventurous of all the cuts shifting back and forth between swinging tempos and jagged interplay between Pucillo and other members of the group. "Night and Day" is the setting for some romantic ballad exchanges between Perkins and Ozaki. No newcomer to jazz, Pucillo cut his professional teeth playing in aggregations led by Bill Holman and Claude Thornhill. He also has recorded with such different artists as Peggy Lee and the Jackson 5. Unlike many of this contemporaries, his drumming patterns can be imaginative and supportive without overwhelming the music or his fellow performers. This album also proves that contemporary arrangements and compositions do not always have to be forceful, but can be lyrical and tender as well.

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