Who sounds a little like Ornette Coleman’s quartet from the late 50’s/early 60’s, a little like Lester Bowie, a little like Mingus, a little like Eric Dolphy, the band Sex Mob, and just for good measure some avant-garde John Coltrane? The Paul Tynan Quartet that’s who. On the CD, Freedom and Jealousy on the NohJoh Music Production label, this free wheeling open wide swinging quartet not only presents an amalgam of the thought provoking and creative sounds inspired by the aforementioned artists, but also some great ideas of their own in this example of modern avant-garde jazz.
Each of the six compositions (actually one piece is a three part suite, so perhaps more correctly eight compositions) is an original by trumpeter Tynan, saxophonist Tyler Summers or bassist Matt Wigton. Whether or not it is implicit in the title Freedom and Jealousy, the music is quite angst filled, introspective, melancholy, and at times an expression of a nightmarish subconscious mind. It would be difficult to say that the music on this CD is happy, upbeat or celebratory. Summers’ saxophone at times squeals as if in pain, and Tynan’s trumpet sometimes drops into the pedal register as if in some expression of disappointment or disgust.
Some of the novel effects of note are the inclusion of a recorded telephone message in the piece "Hidden Reality," and the bird-like sounds from Summers’ saxophone in the composition "The Constant." Aside from the novelties, what is quite striking however is the symbiosis that seems to exist between these musicians. Although the recording has a freewheeling openness to it, one hears evidence that the music being produced is the result of some careful preparation. There are moments when Tynan and Summers will be improvising independently of each other and then seamlessly they will come together in a unified sound. Matt Wigton’s driving bass lines and the tasteful coloristic additions of Stockton Helbing’s drumming also are evidence of refined musicianship.
Although Freedom and Jealousy by the Paul Tynan Quartet would qualify as avant garde jazz because of novel sounds incorporated into some of the pieces and the "outside-the-box" musical thinking and approaches to playing by Tynan and his sidemen, this is not a recording that should be shunned by those unaccustomed to unique approaches to playing jazz. Freedom and Jealousy is a recording that would be a most welcome addition to a jazz CD collection.