Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh | This Is Not a Pipe

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This Is Not a Pipe

by Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh

Modern Jazz Duets played by two New York City veteran jazz musicians, original compositions and standards.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Miss Maritza
Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh
5:36 $0.99
2. It Could Happen to You
Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh
4:56 $0.99
3. Penny's Way
Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh
2:36 $0.99
4. Emily
Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh
4:13 $0.99
5. This Is Not a Pipe
Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh
3:58 $0.99
6. Friday's Good
Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh
4:18 $0.99
7. Daphne's Song
Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh
5:18 $0.99
8. Minority
Alexander McCabe & Paul Odeh
8:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Review By DAN MCCLENAGHAN, All About Jazz Published: October 8, 2014

Are we having fun yet? Saxophonist Alexander McCabe and pianist Paul Odeh are, on a rollicking duo outing, This Is Not A Pipe. The frequent collaborators delve into a loose-jointed, roll and tumble examination of some jazz standards and McCabe originals.

The word "seamless" is an often used—some would say over- used—as a description of a recorded offering. This Is Not A Pipe is not that. It is about as Un-seamless as can be. It sounds as if two good friends who can say anything to each other have gotten themselves involved in a relaxed and kicked-back free-for-all conversation, seams showing all over the place, even unraveling in spots.

And, as the saying goes, it's all good. In fact, it's all excellent. Opening with "Miss Maritza," McCabe's tip of the hat to his wife, the saxophonist and pianist Odeah are soufully spontaneous, with McCabe's tart tone bringing alto saxophonist Jackie McLean to mind, and Odeh shaping a joyful solo. "It Could Happen To You," the Great American Songbook gem, has an insouciant bounce in its step gem, with McCabe blowing, nearly, into free territory. "Penny's Way," is dark-hued and contemplative, free yet engaging, fractiousness alternating with beauty, wrapping up on a quizzical note. "Emily," the famous Bill Evans vehicle, sways prettily in ¾, with McCabe adding some sharp angles to the melody.

The title tune, another McCabe original, explores, again, a dark territory. McCabe, in the beginning, sounds like some just- awakened-from-hibernation-beast emerging from its cave at dusk, with Odeh's playing acting, in its contemplative loveliness, as a counterpoint.

A especially fine recording with the bonus of great sound quality. You're right there with them.
Track Listing: Miss Maritza; It Could Happen to You; Penny's Way; Emily; This Is Not A Pipe; Friday's Good; Daphne's Song; Minority.

Personnel: Alexander McCabe: alto saxophone; Paul Odeh: piano.



Alto saxophonist Alexander McCabe's new CD, "This is Not a Pipe" (WAMCO), recorded with his frequent collaborator pianist Paul Odeh, is for McCabe a return to the duo format. His "Manhattan Operations", duets with Joe Barbato, was released in 2000. Recorded in McCabe's studio in New Rochelle NY, McCabe and Odeh, who gig together as a duo weekly, capture the feeling of musicians who share a common musical language, they're exploring, creating and having fun in a relaxed familiar environment.

Both players have been grounded in straight ahead bop and post bop jazz, but neither are content in conforming to a particular style or mode. Every tune is an opportunity to stretch forms, alter harmonies, add unexpected twists and turns all in an effort to heighten the emotional depth of the music. The two have a solid understanding of the past while creating something new for the present and for the future. This set of five originals and three standards is a good example of what you could expect from their frequent live appearances.

The opening song "Miss Maritza" written by McCabe for his wife is a pretty, soulful melody with a hint of melancholy. The long and varied form of the song provides a good format for both players to build solos that have a distinct and dynamic shape.

"It Could Happen To you" is a standard familiar to most jazz fans, here the verse is played, a rarity for non-vocal versions, and a free blowing Coltrane-esque treatment follows.

"Penny's Way", dedicated to McCabe's stepdaughter is an open form reflective piece. There is no underlying form or harmonic sequence, McCabe and Odeh “converse” in a contemplative manner, offer ideas, trade thoughts and finish each other’s sentences.

"Emily", popularized by Bill Evans, is a 3/4 ballad; McCabe and Odeh modulate between keys after solos and statements of the melody to give this very pretty waltz different angles of interpretation.

"This is Not a Pipe" is a high-energy free flowing discourse. A five-note theme is the point of departure; a fiery exchange comes to a calming conclusion with a brief restatement of the theme.

"Friday's Good" Is a traditional 12 bar blues, the two get back to their straight ahead roots, with some down home cooking.

"Daphne's Song", named for Odeh's daughter, is a peaceful ballad which employs an interesting rhythmic meter shift (between 3 and 5) that creates a unique, swinging and restful groove.

Finally, Gigi Gryce's "Minority". McCabe and Odeh explore the cracks and crevices of this hard bop classic.

McCabe, originally from Boston has lived in the New York area since the early 80's. He’s toured with Ray Charles, Chico O Farrill and many other notable jazz names. He was a student of George Coleman when he was younger and currently plays with the George Coleman Octet which had it's first gig in over a decade last December at the Jazz Standard in NYC, McCabe and Odeh also play in a quintet with Big George called the New Breed Quintet. McCabe cites Charlie Parker, Jackie Mclean, Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane as his Chief influences. He has played on numerous recordings, and has composed music for several movies and TV shows:

Paul Odeh, is from Providence RI, he’s lived in NY since 2002. He’s been an in demand side man, performing with Ron Carter, Grady Tate, Roy Hargrove, Dick Johnson, Buddy Defranco and George Coleman among others. His major influences are Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner. Paul is a constant presence on the NY jazz club scene, frequently performing at Smoke, Fat Cat and Smalls.

Release date 9/18/2014
Contact: Alexander McCabe




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