This is the first time I´ve heard cornetist Dan Clucas and I must confess I made the right choice listening to Immediately, a release bowing to Ornette Coleman.
The first track of the album, "Stating the Obvious," is a groovy piece that opens with a short funky tonal solo by Michael Ibarra on the contrabass, joined by Rich West on the drums, to form an amazing tandem with Noah Phillips’s guitar and Brian Walsh’s inventive clarinet.
Clucas´s soloing is impressive, with raspy tones and without a doubt one of the best brass instrumentalists whom I’ve lately heard, so 5:35 minutes pass by on the first track and then suddenly the band switches from jazzy to psychedelic tones.
"You Said," a piece composed for Bobby Bradford, makes one think about the great impact that Bradford clearly made in Clucas´s playing. Brian Walsh introduces to us (with his tenor saxophone) an astonishing amount of free-notes, weaving some seductive and beautiful cuts. Drummer Rich West, a legend on the West Coast scene, adds his genial style, blending traditional tonal sounds with plentiful new drumming voices. Bassist Michael Ibarra’s input lines are cast in resplendent roots in a tight groove rhythm, demonstrating how a drummer can be an orchestra all by himself.
"Exile" derives its title from Astor Piazzolla, a genius of the bandoneon, who spent several moments of his life in exile from his native land of Argentina. This is where Piazzolla’s legend starts moving from: his musical friendship with legendary Argentinean/French born Carlos Gardel. The thoughts about Piazzolla playing his Tango (also jazz, classical music and experiments in sound) are challenging to play but Clucas confers a collective mix of free sounds and fusion jazz.
"The Black Horn" for John Carter is a reflective of Clucas´s love for Ornette and Bobby, two of Carter’s cohorts. The cornet of Clucas enacts a free take jazz context but with a tight structure that results in an extraordinary mix of improvisation and structural sounds.
In "Mothers and Daughters," the melody is filled with Clucas´s pitches reaching a criminal perfection. Richard West, Michael Ibarra and Noah Phillips work out a lithe fusion orientation with flashing bright tonal fresh tones.
"Wheat and Weeds" is when the CD comes to an end. Here, Brian Walsh’s reeds and Noah Philips’s guitar jump straight into the free waters, while Clucas reveals his great sense of harmonics and an innovative funky style.
Immediately is a marvellous musical overdraft.... I know I’ll be expecting to hear more from cornetist Dan Clucas.