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Barney McAll: Release the Day

Australian keyboardist Barney McAll bears an impressive resume. He’s studied with Barry Harris and Mulgrew Miller and played with Billy Harper, Dewey Redman, Richie Cole and the Groove Collective, among others. Since 1996, the two musicians that have influenced him most, according to his bio, are Cuban piano virtuoso Chucho Valdes and Miles Davis acolyte Gary Bartz.

Those latter influences matter most on Release the Day, McAll’s debut on the Transparent label. The album leads off with “Thirty Three,” a slow, repetitive groove reminiscent of the opening movement of Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Bartz blows impassioned alto on the track, while McAll’s playing ranges from percussive note hammering to smooth cocktail tinkling. At nearly 16 minutes in length, however, the minimal material is stretched too thin to sustain interest.

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