Glenn Cashman’s Southland Nonet – Music Without Borders – Primrose Lane Music PLM-017, 64:25 ****:
(Carl Saunders, Ron Stout – trumpet/Flugelhorn; Andy Martin – trombone; Bruce Babad – alto sax; Glenn Cashman – tenor sax; Bob Efford – baritone sax; Ed Czach – piano; Luther Hughes – bass; Paul Kreibich – drums/percussion)
The United States is such an amazingly diverse country musically, that high-quality professional musicians are found in almost every corner of the land. Glenn Cashman’s Southland Nonet is such an organization and the release of Music Without Borders gives the band a chance to show its colors to great effect.
Working from original charts crafted by either Glenn Cashman or Eric Fütterer (voice teacher and the founding producer of the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival) the band conveys a sound that seems much larger than a nonet. Each arrangement offers plenty of solo space for selected band members to parade their chops. Showing their reverence for jazz custom, the band leads off with “I’ve Got Your Rhythm” which is based on the changes of “I’ve Got Rhythm” and gives Cashman the freedom to arrange the tune to fill the spaces with the precise feel. Andy Martin is a trombonist of ample self-assurance and he takes the lead on the samba-inspired “Vida Feliz”. Martin is again in the forefront of “Fall Color” which is based on the well-known “Autumn Leaves” with Cashman’s arrangement set up in such a way that his own tenor solo says he is a saxophonist of some power and pianist Ed Czach demonstrates his proficiency.
Eric Fütterer contributes three compositions to this session which, in style, fit in with the band. “I Will Always Wait for You” was written as an homage to Michel Legrand as well as Alan and Marilyn Bergman. (It is not the same as Legrand’s tune “I Will Wait for for You.”) Like the previously noted “Fall Colors”, the bridge section is based on the chord changes of “Autumn Leaves” with the trumpet of Ron Stout providing the texture and pianist Czach adds to the conversation. “Carnaval” is another samba with the baritone sax of Bob Efford adding an authoritative voice and drummer Paul Kreibich holding the tune together. Finally “Corazón” is a Latin inspired tune without a lyric but Cashman’s tenor and pianist Czach do their best to showcase the melodic exactitude and ever-changing subtleties of the piece.
Track List: I’ve Got Your Rhythm; Vida Feliz; Fall Color; I Will Always Wait For You; Carnaval; Sumo; What Dolphins Say; Bailey Street; Corazón; Cadenzas For Cadenas