Based upon a musical and personal friendship forged while studying at North Texas State University, Nova Scotia ‐ based trumpeter Paul Tynan and San Jose - based baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington formed the Bicoastal Collective, a tentet composed of players from locales like the Bay Area, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Nova Scotia, Iowa, and Texas. Putting aside the dizzying details of getting all of these folks into a studio, much less on tour, the group comes across as one that has been playing together for a long time and, further, create a rich full sound that belies their rather small instrumental size. As for the compositions, they speak to the "Modern Mainstream Big Band" type of writing that seems rather popular at present (with Gil Evans as its icon). The majority of the record's playing time centers around Tynan's seven - movement suite, "Story of Langston Suite." The series embraces a cross-section of moods in its homage to "musicians and educators" that influenced Tynan, with plenty of focus on the leaders; Tynan and Lington both excel on "The 4th Letter" and "Six Years," and there are also strong solo spotlights for guitarist Kevin Brunkhorst on ?Dub's Lament,? pianist Stefan Karlsson on ?Chanting for Staples,? and altoist Bobby Selvaggio on the spirited "Red Beard's Romp." The suite is really a testament to the rich tapestries painted by Tynan, as well as his sprightly solo work throughout (with several turns obviously influenced by Kenny Wheeler). The remaining pieces by Lington are also worthwhile exercises, with the midtempo Jazz colors starting off the program on "The Gauntlet," as well as the introspective closer, "March of the Pariahs," a feature for some of Tynan's best work.
The result is a document of modern enlarged ensemble Jazz filled with adept writing and excellent trumpet/flugelhorn work from Tynan.