Tenor man Jim Brenan, who has a masters degree in jazz studies from Rutgers University, has worked with Ravi Coltrane, Randy Brecker, Kenny Drew Jnr., Phil Woods and Flip Phillips. He also played with the Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau Band when they accompanied Michael Feinstein and Diane Schuur.
He gets an attractively smoky sound on tenor and all the material here is his except for Hiding Place, which was composed by Michael Ledner.
Unfortunately there is a static quality to much of this music – very well performed by the ensemble incidentally – as many of the charts seem to centre around ostinatos or extended vamps. This lack of harmonic movement is like constantly knocking on a permanently closed door for the listener – certainly this listener.
Apart from the leader, who has fine solos on Tigers Milk, Jocasta and Ozark Mountain there are some expressive trombone outings from his brother Craig Brenan on Eleven Eleven and the sinister Colossal Suite. Drummer Jamie Cooper too deserves a special mention. His discreet rock rhythms add colour and lustre to each of the performances.
Tigers Milk; Jocasta; Empress; Eleven Eleven; Colossal Suite; Fant-O-Max; Hiding Place; Ozark Mountain Cougar Fightin’ (56.34)
Jim Murray, Sergio Rodriguez (t); Craig Brenan, Carsten Rubeling (tb); Sean Craig, Mike Gardner (as); Jim Brenan (ts, ss, cl, bcl); Sarah Matheson-Nadeau (bar, f); Chris Andrew (rhodes clavinet); Rubim De Toledo (b); Jamie Cooper (d); Raul Tabera (pc). Alberta, Canada, 10-13 December 2017.
Death Defying Records 8 88295 83792 7