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When Afternoons Return by Kyle Coughlin Quartet

Kyle Coughlin has mixed jazz and classical performance with a career in musical academia (he holds a doctorate in clarinet performance from Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory and is the director of the jazz ensemble at Howard Community College). Along the way, he's played for east coast and European audiences and recorded with Todd Butler and singer John Signorello. With the release ofWhen Afternoons Return, he establishes himself among the top rank of young leaders with a distinguished collection of original compositions.

His generally straight ahead approach has some interesting curves, particularly when he takes a Celtic turn on cuts like "Running The Border." Coughlin's sound and style, especially on the opener, "Orange Blossoms," and the title track, is sometimes reminiscient of vintage Charles Lloyd, but there's little here that is blatantly imitative. While he stands rooted firmly in jazz traditions, Coughlin has a fresh and distinctive approach both to his horn and his writing.

He's joined by a quartet that includes three other vetrans of the Baltimore/DC jazz circuit. Drummer Mike Kuhl and bassist Jeff Reed provide a level of rhythmic support that any leader could envy, and guitarist Michael Raitzyk shines whenever Coughlin hands off the lead.

Altogether, When Afternoons Return is an outstanding debut by an artist who deserves to be heard well beyond his hometown. If you're not planning a visit to Baltimore in the near future, this disc provides a listening opportunity without geographical limitations.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Kyle Coughlin Quartet
  • CD Title: When Afternoons Return
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Tracks: Orange Blossoms, In The Cage, Dianthus, Running The Border, When Afternoons Return, Smoke And Mirrors, Fragmentary Blue, Azure Of Eye, Bartok
  • Musicians: Kyle Coughlin (tenor sax), Jeff Reed (bass), Michael Raitzyk (guitar), Mike Kuhl (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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