The Sky Cries
is lively mainstream modern Jazz out of the Pacific Northwest led by trumpeter Chad McCullough and pianist Michal Vanoucek. The two men split the writing chores here but all of their pieces are intricate and involving. McCullough's "Urban Grassland" and "Soliloquy" pits the lyrical shapes of his trumpet playing against the sharp, sour sound of Mark Taylor's alto while his "Time-lapse" juxtaposes flowing horn solos with minimalist rhythms. Vanoucek's two part "Tryskac" moves from a jumpy, hustling ensemble sound with furious drumming into a lurching Blues with loud, rude horns and creeping piano while his "Katia" is a lovely ballad line where the two leaders play together lyrically. The brooding "Blue In Breed" has some of McCullough's prettiest playing in a quartet setting where Vanoucek, Captein, and Jorgensen set up a free floating rhythmic pulse reminiscent of the ?60s Miles Davis quintet. There is some really good writing and playing here that demonstrates what a fertile Jazz scene has risen up in the Northwest.