Hush Point

Hush Point -- Album Review

Feb 4, 2014

Hush Point’s debut self-titled album, released in May 21, 2013, is a breath of fresh air in today’s jazz scene. Hush Point is a group – consisting of alto saxophonist Jeremy Udden, trumpeter John McNeil, bassist Aryeh Kobrinsky, and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza – that really functions as a band, not just a collection of individual musicians brought together for a recording date. The album not only features tunes by Udden, McNeil, and Kobrinsky, but also has extensive collective improvisation. The effortlessly blending of their individual voices during collective improvisation illustrates how in tune with each others’ thought processes this group is. The band’s near-telepathic communicative ability is especially evident on the album’s opening tune, a rendition of Jimmy Guiffre’s “Iranic.” Hush Point plays this song as a piece about dialogue, alternating moments of call-and-response with counterpoint playing. By placing this song as the album’s first track, Hush Point is showing the listener how important playing and improvising together as a group is for this band. The album’s second piece, a bouncy playful McNeil number called “Peachful,” highlights the group dynamic again with a contrapuntal section by McNeil and Udden, filled with fluttering improvised lines from both. McNeil and Udden’s comfort playing together also comes through very clearly on McNeil’s “Finely Done,” in which both horn players echo and complete each other’s melodic ideas like a married couple finishing each other’s sentences.