By Bill Milkowski | Published May 2021
As a drummer, Reggie Quinerly favors the old school. He takes an understated-but-hip approach to the kit, propelling the music from the inside rather than laying on top with flurries of combustible chops. In that regard, he is more Thigpen than Tony, more Cobb than Cobham.
This team-player approach serves the music well on the Houston native’s fourth album. He’s the kind of bandleader who understands that when the pieces fit and everything clicks, the music is greater than the sum of its parts.
There’s a relaxed chemistry among the musicians here. From the easy swinging opener, “Reflections On The Hudson,” to the shuffle-swing feel of “Somewhere On Houston” to the uptempo burner “New York Nights,” they are truly on one accord. Trumpeter Antoine Drye and tenor saxophonist John Ellis, friends since high school, exude a natural blend on Quinerly’s appealing melodies and subtle harmonic shifts. Bassist Sean Conly lends an unerring pulse and a bounce to the proceedings. Pianist John Chin provides sterling accompaniment throughout, comping slyly and percussively while also throwing off a few sparks of his own, particularly on his envelope-pushing solo on “New York Nights” and his earthy solo on “Somewhere On Hudson.”
Quinerly solos only once, on “Wine Cooler Heads Prevail.” But that’s not the point here. It’s his winning compositions—like the elegiac ballad “Dreaming In Place,” the lyrical bossa nova flavored “Celso” and the catchy “Reflections On The Hudson”—in combination with his inherent gift for swing, that really grow on you and hold up to repeated listenings.
New York Nowhere: New York Nowhere: Reflections On The Hudson; Dreaming In Place; Somewhere On Houston; New York Nights; Celso; Wine Cooler Heads Prevail; New York Nights (Revisted). (32:56)
Personnel: Personnel: Reggie Quinerly, drums, composer; Antoine Drye, trumpet; John Ellis, tenor saxophone; John Chin, piano; Sean Conly, bass.
Ordering Info: Ordering info: reggiequinerly.com