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Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: First Flight

Opening with the shouting title track, the 17-piece Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra announces its presence on the New York City scene with the bright, tight ensemble work and solid solo efforts one expects. First Flight, however, tends to offer precision rather than a fresh sound, which might be expected considering that the band has only been in existence for roughly a year and a half.

Trombonist McGuinness, the band’s chief soloist and a scat singer of some skill who provides vocal evidence on two of the CD’s nine tracks, has assembled an aggregation with both power and subtlety. The McGuinness-penned opener leads off with solos by trumpeter Chris Rogers, tenor saxophonist Tom Christensen and the leader, all nicely conceived. That’s followed by McGuinness scatting his way through Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” with alto saxophonist Dave Pietro taking a solo turn. Up next is a tasteful feature for McGuinness on Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes.” The Ivan Lins tune “Começar de Novo” offers a solo outing by pianist Mike Holober.

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