Pass The Rainbow
John McCall
4.5 stars
Reviewed by Barry O’Sullivan

Black Money is an original project of band leader, pianist, and composer John McAll, who launched the debut recording in 2009. His following recordings in the Black Money series are Alter Ego, recorded in 2012, and most recently, Pass the Rainbow. The title of the latter describes the inheritance of musical colour and depth of field via McAlls’ mentor, pianist/composer Tony Gould. It’s influenced by stomp and boogie, groove jazz, and funk, the main musical ingredients that flourish in McAll’s original compositions, with the addition of a sublimely dramatic treatment of that old war horse, I’m a Fool to Want You, into the mix. McAll’s musical compositions have moments of exuberance and fire, and there is a lot happening on each track. Mystery Machine and Blind Faith is best described as maximalist, whereas McAll’s solo piano on Portality and Gould, with the ensemble, where he is more relaxed and lyrical without losing any of the intensity, best described as minimalist. James Macaulay on trombone and Anton Delecca on tenor and clarinet, band leaders in their own right, navigate it all seamlessly and provide twistingly exploratory solos with individual voices that never overly dominate the ensemble. Lovers of big band sextet sound will revel in the music revealed on this album.